A group of suspected looters have been arrested after allegedly clearing the shelves at a storm-damaged Lidl supermarket and destroying the roof with a stolen JCB digger.
As Storm Emma continues to run rampant, a group of opportunistic looters followed suit at a storm-damaged Lidl. Video footage posted to Snapchat showed thieves fleeing the store in Tallaght, west Dublin, struggling to carry all the stolen booze and food.
Bystanders filmed the incident:
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Eight men are due to be charged in connection with the looting incident, which occurred on March 2, and will appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice this morning.
The eight men are aged between 24 and 47 and are expected to be charged with various offences including theft, burglary and trespassing.
Another man in his 30s has been arrested for handling stolen property and is currently being detained.
The incident began shortly before 5pm when gardai at Tallaght station received reports of looting at the supermarket.
Later, a gang of vandals ripped the building’s roof off with a stolen digger which had reportedly been abandoned nearby, as other unidentified individuals were seen trying to prise open a safe in the snow.
Shocking footage of the brazen destruction was filmed at the scene:
They've only gone and robbed the safe out of Lidl. This is why we can't have nice things, lads. pic.twitter.com/lEqdb0aJYY
— Brian (@Brian_____k) March 2, 2018
The supermarket had been closed as Ireland was hit by Storm Emma, causing treacherous snowy conditions.
Army reinforcements were called to the scene, as police were backed by 4×4 Defence Forces.
Dublin’s fire service said in a statement they had attended the address following reports of a blaze, but left after finding no fire threat.
— Dublin Fire Brigade (@DubFireBrigade) March 2, 2018
A source told the Irish Mirror:
A large, violent gang of well known criminals targeted the Lidl earlier in the day and then stole the JCB excavator that was being used to clear ice.
The army were also deployed to assist gardai getting to the area due to the gang involved building snow barricades across the road and as the gardai who initially were in saloon cars were only able to get to the area.
The army smashed the barricade, and the armed support and ERU are on the scene.
Local Labour councillor Mick Duff said he was outraged by the group’s actions, describing the incident as ‘gangsterism’.
He told the Irish Sun:
At a time when our emergency services and public services are stretched to the limit that people would exploit a situation like that to do this.
There’s no need here, this is just pure gangsterism. It literally brings shame to the area.
A Lidl spokesman confirmed no staff members were injured, adding:
We are aware of the very serious incident at our Fotunestown Lane store this evening. As the store is closed when this incident occurred we can confirm no member of our team has been injured.
Given that the incident is now the subject of a criminal investigation we are not in a position to comment further at this time.
Other footage posted online is reported to have shown a separated incident of looting at a Centra store in the city.
Snowstorms brought most of Ireland to a halt on Friday and forced Britain to call in the army to help battle some of the worst weather seen for nearly 30 years.
Footage showed Irish shoppers emptying supermarkets before the storm hit:
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Other areas badly affected. Meanwhile, the ongoing Red Alert warning for Storm Emma was extended.
The warnings apply to Dublin, Kildare, Wexford, Wicklow and Meath.
People have been sharing advice on how to help homeless people at this time:
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The Met Office said on March 3, ‘if it’s any consolation the temperatures are not going to be as low as what we saw earlier this week’.
Stay safe, people.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.