NewsCrime Desk

Spar Wars: CCTV shows shopkeeper wrestling armed robber to the ground in Dublin

Drug addict Daniel Garland caught on CCTV in the Spar shop
Drug addict Daniel Garland caught on CCTV in the Spar shop

A BRAVE shopkeeper who wrestled an armed robber to the ground has warned other thugs to stay away from his store.

Kevin Hai Ping Li (38), came to the rescue of his staff when drug addict Daniel Garland (34), came into his Spar shop on the North Circular Road, Dublin, and pointed a knife at a cashier. 

Garland, of Belvedere Road, Dublin, managed to take €170 from the till before trying to flee the scene. 

However, Mr Li was downstairs in his office observing CCTV when he saw the events unfold. 

These CCTV images ( video below) show the courageous shopkeeper tackling the raider.

Garland met his match when the courageous shopkeeper managed to run upstairs and hit the raider with a wooden table leg, bringing him to the ground. Mr Li and another staff member successfully managed to hold the thug on the ground before gardaí arrived on the scene. 

Speaking to the Sunday World this week about the terrifying ordeal, Mr Li said that he was protecting his wife Tracy Han (25), their son Harry Li (6) and the rest of his team. 

“I was sitting in my office when I noticed a man holding a knife to my colleague and demanding money from him,” he said. 

“I was very scared, but I wanted to protect my staff. I hit his hands and the knife dropped. 

“Myself and one of my colleagues managed to hold him to the ground until the gardaí arrived,” he explained. 

“He tried to escape and started shouting at us, but he wasn’t able to get away.

Garland this week pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two robberies – one at Mr Li’s shop and another three days previous on October 18 in Drumcondra, where he made off with €460. 

He has six previous convictions, including theft, drug offences and criminal damage.

Judge Martin Nolan sentenced Garland to 21 months in prison.

The family opened the shop just over a year ago and, like most other small businesses, are subject to theft and shoplifting on a daily basis. When they first opened they were plagued by shoplifters and were forced to hire a security officer to keep guard during peak times. 

The high cost of employing a private firm meant it was no longer a viable option.

The couple, originally from China, say that alcohol, milk and cheese are at the top of a shoplifter’s list. 

Tracy said that she is “extremely proud” of the bravery her husband showed in tackling the criminal. 

“I was very afraid when I discovered what happened and I was worried for his health. 

“In China he would be considered a hero and would be empowered by his actions. 

“We are not afraid anymore and want to tell people to stay away from our shop,” she told the Sunday World. 

The court heard how Garland accepted he had been caught “red handed” and has taken “positive steps” to deal with his drug addiction. 

Garland admitted he carried out the robberies “out of stupidity” and to get money for drugs.

Sandra Frayne, barrister for the father of one, said that Garland had made “great strides” to deal with his addictions and had reduced his methadone intake. 

He was hoping to get residential treatment to complete his rehabilitation. She told Judge Nolan that Garland was deeply ashamed of his behaviour.

In the footage the raider is seen in beige pants demanding cash from staff in the store before being tackled.