Latest: Foiled smash-and-grab raid on Cork store was modelled on London rampage

Latest: Foiled smash-and-grab raid on Cork store was modelled on London rampage
Riot police on St Patrick's St 

A FOILED plan by up to 100 youths to raid a Cork city sportswear store had been modelled on an incident in London on Halloween night, it is believed.

The Garda Armed Support Unit and the Garda Public Order Unit were called into the city centre last night amid concerns about up to 100 youths running through the streets dressed in black and covering their faces.

It's thought a raid was organised on social media where participants were asked to wear black and be prepared to rob a JD sportswear shop. 

Shortly after 6pm, a group of up to 100 teenagers with their faces covered could be seen running along Patrick’s St after a notice was posted on social media calling for a raid on JD Sports.

It is believed the incident may have been modelled on a gang raid of a JD Store in London on Halloween night, which is being investigated by police in the UK.

In the London incident, a gang of masked and hooded youths rampaged through the store, grabbing handfuls of branded clothing before fleeing the scene. 

Yesterday evening, a large crowd of youths gathered around Patrick's Street after messages had been sent out on social media and messaging apps. 

The message that appeared on social media
The message that appeared on social media

The message on social media urged people to gather at 5.30pm at McDonald's restaurant on Daunt's Square.

It stated: 'Dress Code. You must wear all black with bally (balaclava) and gloves. You only have one minute to yam that shop. This is at your own risk. Don't come if you can't run.”

However, gardaí were prepared for the incident and restored order to the streets and the crowds of youths dispersed.

A garda spokesman confirmed there was an increased garda presence in the city due to reports of a high number of youths but said no incidents or crimes had taken place. 

The spokesman said gardaí were made aware of the potential for an incident to occur at a retail premises the street.

“Additional resources were deployed to the area to prevent any incident occurring,” a spokesman said.

“No offences have been disclosed in the area. Gardaí continue to patrol the area currently.”

Labour Councillor John Maher described the incident as "chilling and sobering".

“I commend gardaí for dealing with this but those identified need to face serious penalties and those involved must be brought to book.

“We must lance this boil before any other copycat attempts are made in the city or in surround shopping centres.”

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