Off-duty Garda foils Meath armed robbery

An off-duty Garda foiled a cash-in-transit robbery in Meath yesterday afternoon.

A security officer collecting cash at a shopping centre in Ratoath, Co Meath, was approached by a man with a firearm, or imitation firearm, shortly after noon yesterday.

He demanded the cash box and fled to a getaway van being driven by another person, and the pair drove away at high speed.

However, an off-duty Garda witnessed the incident, and took off in pursuit in his own private car.

He followed the van into a nearby housing estate, and boxed the van in with his car - which resulted in the two men exiting their vehicle and pointing the firearm at the Garda.

In a statement, Gardaí described the incident as a "brief standoff" following which the men dropped both the firearm and cash box, fleeing into nearby fields.

Gardaí then began a search of the area, but were unable to find the men. The house in Streamstown, Ratoath, was entered during a follow-up search and items of black clothing recovered.

Gardaí are appealing to the public for any further information.

By Dave Molloy

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