Gardaí warn those travelling in west after masked motorist robs couple

ireland
Gardaí Warn Those Travelling In West After Masked Motorist Robs Couple
Gardaí have warned people to exercise extreme caution when travelling through parts of south-east Clare.
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By David Raleigh

Gardaí have warned people to exercise extreme caution after a couple were robbed by a masked motorist as they travelled near the Ardnacrusha Power Station in Co Clare.

The warning applies to those travelling through parts of south-east Clare that border Limerick, with gardaí advising people to lock their car doors when driving.

After the masked man succeeded in stopping the couple by flashing the lights of his vehicle, a similar alleged attempt took place in the same area about an hour later.

“This happened in Ardnacrusha when a husband and wife in their late 50s were out driving last Saturday night at about 7.50pm,” Sergeant Ber Leetch of Henry Street Garda Station, Limerick said.

A male dressed in dark clothing... reached in and took the lady’s handbag off her lap

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“The lady was in the front passenger seat when her husband saw a car behind them flashing the lights, the husband pulled his car in near the power station in Ardnacrusha and stopped thinking there was some emergency.

“A male dressed in dark clothing, wearing a face covering approached the passenger door, opened it, reached in and took the lady’s handbag off her lap.”

The robber then ran back to his car, reversed his vehicle and headed towards Meelick village.

“Gardaí are looking for anybody who may have seen this incident to please contact them at Mayorstone 061-456980,” Sgt Leetch said.

“Also bear in mind to always lock your car doors when driving and never stop when confronted by this type of driving behaviour. Continue to a well lit-up busy area where there is safety in numbers and possibly covered with CCTV,” she added.

Similar incident

In a separate statement, a garda spokeswoman said “a number of personal belongings and cash were taken” in the robbery.

Clare senator Timmy Dooley said he was aware that a similar alleged incident took place in the same area about an hour later, in which a young woman in her late teens or early 20s was followed by a vehicle flashing its lights but did not stop out of fear.

“She kept going because she got nervous, and it didn't materialise to what happened in the other one,” Mr Dooley said.

It's a completely different level of aggravation to be pulled over on a dark road at night

“We’re into dark winter nights and less cars on the road because of the Covid restrictions, it leaves particularly elderly people very vulnerable.

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“These are narrow roads were talking about and its deeply worrying that someone would even think to engage in this kind of activity,” he added.

“House burglaries or break-ins to cars are a shocking thing to happen to anybody, but it's a completely different level of aggravation to be pulled over on a dark road at night and be approached by thugs like this - that’s absolutely terrifying and has a huge impact on people.”

“Hopefully with the issue being highlighted and the gardaí working on it that they can bring these culprits to book.”

A garda spokeswoman added: “No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.”

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