TWO opportunistic criminals were left red-faced after they grabbed an empty security cash box.
A major Garda operation swung into action just seconds after the raiders took a cash delivery box from security staff and fled.
Two locals, suspected of the crime, were picked up by detectives within minutes and arrested.
The robbery took place as Brinks security staff were delivering cash at around 12.15pm to an AIB branch on North Strand, in Dublin’s north inner city.
“It was an opportunistic snatch,” said a garda. “There was no gun or other weapon used. They just took the cash box and ran with it, but they must have realised soon enough there was no money in the box.”
It is thought the security staff had already delivered the cash to the bank. Even if the criminals had got a box with cash inside, an ink destroys the cash if the box is tampered with in any way.
Passersby said a fleet of Garda patrol cars and unmarked cars, arrived within a minute. A Garda helicopter was also dispatched and aided in the search effort. The criminals were not masked and detectives quickly ascertained the likely suspects. “The gardaí were there almost immediately. They went straight into an address and arrested two men,” said the source.
The cash box has not yet been recovered, but gardaí believe they have the culprits.
Garda cars are patrolling the north inner city following last week’s gangland murder of Stephen Byrne.
Five people — including teenagers aged 15 and 16 — arrested in relation to that killing have been released.
Garda sources said that no further arrests are planned at this stage.
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