Gardaí hope DNA evidence will link shotgun to Cork robbery gang
Gardaí also recover a knife near home of mobile chip shop operator following foiled raid
Gardaí are investigating whether the attempted robbery on Pat Glavin, who operates a number of chip vans at festivals and sports events in Cork, is linked to a similar raid on a house in Carrignavar, 12km from Cork, in March. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
Gardaí are hoping that forensic tests on a sawn-off shotgun found near the scene of an attempted armed robbery in Co Cork will provide them with important DNA evidence to link the weapon to a number of men arrested in connection with the raid.
Members of the North Cork divisional search team found the loaded sawn-off, pump-action shotgun during a search on Monday afternoon of a field near the home of chip van operator Pat Glavin in Glounthaune in East Cork.
Gardaí believe the weapon was dropped by the 44-year-old ringleader of a criminal gang as he fled the scene after a dozen armed members of the Regional Support Unit (RSU) surprised the man and two accomplices as they attempted to break in to Mr Glavin’s house.
Members of the RSU apprehended a 37-year-old man from Knocknaheeny and a 38-year-old man from Curraheen, both in Cork city, after disorientating them with a stun grenade as they made their way across fields to Mr Glavin’s house at around 10.30pm on Sunday.
Gardaí also arrested two men in their 30s from Ballincollig when they stopped a hired Mazda car in Glanmire village at around 1am on Monday. They arrested the suspected gang leader in a house at Mayfield at 3.20am on Monday.
All five were arrested under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows gardaí hold suspects for up to seven days. Detectives were last night continuing to question all five men at Cobh, Midleton and Mayfield Garda stations.
Gardaí were lying in wait in a field near Mr Glavin’s house for the gang after receiving intelligence on the planned operation but the leader of the gang fled across the field along a cow path by which the gang had approached the two-storey house.
A member of the RSU gave chase to the gang leader for around 300 metres before losing him in the darkness.
Garda searchers recovered the sawn-off shotgun close to the route along which the gang leader fled and the gun has since been sent for forensic analysis, which gardaí hope will provide fingerprint or DNA evidence that will link the weapon to the gang.
Gardaí also recovered a knife near Mr Glavin’s house and a muffler which they believe one member of the gang was wearing in a bid to try and disguise himself during the raid on the house where undercover gardaí, posing as Mr Glavin and his family, were waiting for them.
Gardaí have seized a number of mobile phones belonging to members of the gang and have begun examining phone records to establish a pattern of calls between the five men over recent weeks.
Gardaí are investigating whether the attempted robbery on Mr Glavin, who is in his 50s and operates a number of chip vans at festivals and sports events in Cork, is linked to a similar raid on a house in Carrignavar, 12km from Cork, in March.
On that occasion, a woman was threatened at gunpoint before three men made off with more than €10,000 in cash.