Lookout in armed raid later stopped for drink driving and caught ’green-blue handed’

By Declan Brennan

A man who acted as a lookout during an armed robbery was later caught when gardaí stopped him for drink driving and found stolen bank notes on him.

Lawyers for Lee Harris (21) said he was caught “green-blue handed” with bank notes that were stained with a security ink that is activated when security cash boxes are interfered with.

The notes were part of €50,000 cash taken during the armed hold up of a G4S cash-in-transit van on February 11, 2016.

Harris of Oliver Bond St., Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to robbery of the money at La Touche Rd., Bluebell, Dublin on that date.

Judge Martin Nolan said that Harris was involved in a serious robbery and his role was to keep watch out for any stray gardaí in the area.

One of the robbers was armed with a handgun and the second man had a knife. The G4S employees handed over a security box containing the cash and the two men made off in a VW Golf that was waiting for them.

Judge Nolan said the employees were threatened. He said Harris’ involvement was not peripheral and that he received a good proportion of the money.

He imposed a four year prison sentence but suspended all but the last 16 months on condition that Harris co-operate with the Probation Services.

Garda Mark Bolger told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that Harris dropped the robbers to the scene and kept lookout during the hold up. A fourth unidentified man acted as a getaway driver.

Later that evening a garda on checkpoint duty stopped a car being driven by Harris in an erratic manner. He arrested Harris on suspicion of drink driving and found €2,850 in stained €50 notes on him.

The notes were damp and partially covered in a blue green dye. Harris was re-arrested for the robbery offence but was unfit to be interviewed until the following morning.

Gda Bolger told the court that a security mechanism in the stolen cash box caused dye to leak over the contents. The dye contained DNA references which would link the accused to the stolen money.

Judge Nolan said: “He mightn’t have been caught red handed but he was caught with something on his hand”.

The court heard that while the heavily dyed notes were unlikely to be used in general circulation the robbers had ways of getting rid of it using automated machines.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, said that Harris was a vulnerable individual who had succumbed to pressure to get involved in the robbery.

KEYWORDS: Court, Armed Robbery


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