NewsCrime Desk

Raiders warned staff "his life is in your hands" after abducting colleague

Top Petrol Station Athy Co Kildare (Pic: Mark Condren)
Top Petrol Station Athy Co Kildare (Pic: Mark Condren)

Armed thieves abducted a shop worker and told his colleague "his life is in your hands" during a terrifying raid on a filling station.

A shop worker spoke of his terrifying ordeal after his 22-year-old colleague was kidnapped by two masked raiders.

The 47-year-old salesman endured an agonising wait for a time-lock on a shop safe to open while his young colleague was being driven around dark roads by his captors.

Gardaí last night appealed to the public to help track down the two abductors.

The raid happened at 9pm on Good Friday at the Top Garage in Athy, Co Kildare.

The two shop workers were closing the filling station when they were confronted by the masked raiders wielding a knife and a hammer.

"We had to lie spread-eagled on the floor with our hands behind our heads. I could feel a knife in my back. They wanted the takings from the safe and they were angry when we told them it was time-locked," the shop worker told the Irish Independent.

"I gave them the code because I just wanted them off the premises. So they could hear the timer counting down. Then they grabbed my colleague and said 'You're f***ing coming with us'."

He said they left the shop with their captive and put him into their getaway car.

Then they went back into the shop and returned a mobile phone they had stolen from him and said they would "be in touch".

They drove off and a few seconds later they phoned him using the young employee's phone and warned he had to bring them the cash when the time-lock was released.

"They kept telling me 'No funny business. No cops. His life is in your hands'."

He said when the safe finally opened, he was instructed to close the shop normally and pull down the shutters so as not to cause suspicion. He was told to drive along the road towards Kilkenny and then ordered to stop outside of Athy near the 100kmh speed limit signs.

The raiders did a handbrake turn on the road beside him and demanded the money. He handed it over and they released his colleague before speeding away. The two shocked workers immediately dialled 999.

"I've had very little sleep since. I try not to think about them but they were scumbags of the highest order," the man said.

Garda Superintendent Martin Walker said the raiders "are still on the loose" and gardaí wanted public assistance to identify them.

They may have been in their late teens or early 20s and spoke with Dublin accents. They stole around €2,000.

"This was a very, very serious incident," he said.