Gardaí in Clare have arrested a total of five people in connection with an overnight robbery during which a substantial number of mobile phones was taken.
The alarm was raised at around 2.30am when a break-in at an eir store at O’Connell St in Ennis was reported to Gardaí.
A number of patrol cars responded to the incident and pursued a vehicle for a time. The car was abandoned on the Drumcliffe road on the outskirts of the town and three man ran off into local fields.
One man was quickly arrested and a search for two others continued overnight. A second man was detained at around 8.00am after spending the night hiding in fields. He was found walking along a roadway by Gardaí.
A third person, believed to have been in the car, remains at a large.
In a follow-up operation in the early hours of the morning, another car was stopped on the Gort Road out of Ennis. Three men in that vehicle were detained.
All five, aged in their teens and 20s, are being questioned in connection with the same incident and are detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.
Gardaí are still trawling through CCTV footage from the break-in while the scene has been preserved for a technical examination. The car believed to have been involved in the robbery is also being forensically tested while, it’s understood, a large number of mobile phones was recovered from the car.
Marked and unmarked Garda vehicles continue to search a large area around Drumcliffe that includes two cemeteries, a public amenity, forestry and dozens of farms.
Detective Inspector Kieran Ruane of Ennis confirmed: “One person was promptly detained after the car was abandoned. Later we arrested three others after Gardaí intercepted another vehicle. Early today, a second man, believed to have been in the first car was located and detained by Gardaí.
We are still searching for one person from the original incident and would ask locals and business owners in the Drumcliffe road area to report anything suspicious to Gardaí in Ennis on 065 68 48100 or alternatively ring 999/112.”