Gardai say a calculated decision to roll out additional checkpoints at the weekend led to the arrest of two men believed to be behind a major crime spree across north Longford.
John and Thomas McCarthy, both of Spencer Bridge, Rathangan, Co Kildare, have since been charged with stealing a shop till and two handbags in Ballinalee and Aughnacliffe last Saturday.
A further charge of driving off with over €100 in petrol from a Co Westmeath filling station earlier that evening was also handed down.
The pair, who were brought before a special sitting of Longford District Court on Monday, were remanded in custody by Judge Seamus Hughes.
An application for bail was denied after it was revealed Saturday evening’s pursuit involved a patrol car being rammed three times and a high speed chase spanning counties Longford, Leitrim, Roscommon and Westmeath.
Fifteen patrol cars, the garda helicopter and several officers were also called in before gardaí eventually caught up with the getaway car on the N4 outside Mullingar.
In a bid to evade arrest, both suspects took to a nearby field while a third man, similarly believed to be involved in the events of last weekend, was still unaccounted for at the time of going to press yesterday (Tuesday).
As that search continues this week, detectives were keen to acknowledge the importance extra garda patrols played.
“We made that decision to put out more gardai with Christmas coming up,” said a source. “It meant that because there were added patrols we were able to respond with even greater efficiency.”