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Three men jump in Westmeath river to avoid arrest


Three men from an “organised burglary group” jumped into a Co Westmeath river yesterday in an effort to evade arrest, according to gardaí.

The three men jumped into the River Blackwater following a 35-minute pursuit, after gardaí were first alerted to a burglary.

In a post on their Facebook page, gardaí said: “Our Roads Policing Unit on duty in Westmeath yesterday received a call on radio about 5pm that a home had been broken into in the area, a large amount of jewellery stolen and the gang had just fled by car.

“Luckily, we had a description and model of the car and in knowing how these burglary gangs operate, we got ahead of them along the route that we knew they would take to get to the motorway to abscond from us.

“We knew we were on the right course when members of the public began making emergency calls to report dangerous driving through a number of townlands and villages in the county.

“One passer-by that had seen the car, recounted to our colleague in Command and Control that they all had balaclavas on. We sat and waited for the car to eventually pass us so we could get in pursuit.”

“And as sure as be told, along it came.”

Gardaí said that after it failed to stop they pursued the car on the N4 and R148 through Kinnegad until it reached Enfield, Co Meath.

The statement continued: “The lads abandoned the car after a 35 minute pursuit and took off on foot.

“We called in backup from our Air Support Unit, Garda Dog Unit, and colleagues from the Mullingar Detective Unit and Trim Garda Station.

“Around 9:30pm, our excellent Garda Dog, Cooper put one of the Detective’s on the scent and together they discovered one of the three suspects. The other two suspects were apprehended by two Trim Gardaí after the Air Support Unit guided them through thermal detection.

“All three had tried to evade us by jumping into the Blackwater River.

“They were arrested, returned to a Garda Station in Westmeath where they were given dry clothes and examined by a doctor to ensure they were all well.

“They remain detained for questioning.

“We are working today to return the stolen jewellery and are investigating the link between this organised burglary group and a number of break-ins.”


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