Burglars escape capture in Mayo after eight-hour chase involving 30 Garda cars
Ever see the big car chase in the Blues Brothers movie? It seems like something similar happened in Mayo at the weekend. Who said nothing exciting ever happened in rural Ireland?
From time to time we bring you somewhat surprising and unexpected stories from around the country, but rarely have we come across one as mad as what happened in Mayo this weekend.
Mayo has been hit with a spate of burglaries in recent weeks and the gang believed to be responsible for the crime wave were spotted by the Garda Northern Regional Support Unit in Enniscrone in Sligo and subsequently chased towards Ballina in Mayo at approximately 8pm on Saturday evening.
According to a report in The Mayo News, the gang, who were driving a high-powered Subaru Legacy car, managed to evade the first trailing Garda car and up to 30 cars from Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Galway and Longford as the burglary gang sped throughout the county at speeds of approximately 200 kilometres per hour before the chase was ended at close to 4am on Sunday morning.
Having gone to ground in the Hollymount area of Mayo for up to an hour, it is believed that the gang changed the license plates on their car, filled up a number of fuel cans and were able to access a scanner to intercept Garda radio transmissions which helped them evade capture.
A garda involved in the chase told The Mayo News that the patrol cars were simply not able to keep up with the high-speed Subaru, while attempts to bring a Garda helicopter down from Dublin failed due to fog in the midlands and the fact that no regional airport would have been available to refuel the chopper.
“He was playing with us,” a garda on the chase told The Mayo News.
“We’re not being equipped to deal with chases like this. The helicopter would have helped but the biggest problem is that we’ve cars that can’t keep up with high-powered cars like this.
“The danger comes when our small-powered cars are flat out and he’s just cruising along. He was an excellent pilot; he never once looked like losing it, despite the speed he was going at.”
The search was eventually called off at 5am on Sunday morning and after they escaped capture, the Gardaí are looking for information from anyone who might be able to help them with their investigation.
Check out The Mayo News report here for more details.
Early reports are sketchy, but it is believed the car chase was a little like this...
Hat-tip to Patrick Collins for giving us the heads up on this one on Facebook.