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3 Mar, 2018 04:12

Looters pillage Lidl with excavator amid Ireland's worst blizzard in 36 years (VIDEO)

Looters pillage Lidl with excavator amid Ireland's worst blizzard in 36 years (VIDEO)

In the opposite of an intricate heist, a rowdy mob in Ireland took advantage of an apocalyptic blizzard to ransack a local Lidl store. The looters thought big, hijacking an excavator to smash through the roof and scoop out a safe.

The Irish government sent soldiers to help the police, who struggled to break through the snow barricades erected by the looters to get to the scene in Jobstown, Tallaght, some 14 kilometers from Dublin. The officers were pelted with snowballs and rocks as they attempted to approach the store, the Irish Independent reported.

While it normally only takes minutes to get to the suburb, the Storm Emma, which has been wreaking havoc across Europe, disrupted traffic and slowed down police response times. Seizing the opportunity, several dozen unruly youths got ahold of an excavator and demolished the roof of a Lidl convenience store. Videos posted on social media show the digger tearing the building apart in several scoops.

Another video shows the same machine attempting to crack open a safe that was dragged out from the store.

In one video filmed outside, men and women can be seen hurriedly running into the store and back out again, loaded with produce in plain view of several small children that were apparently waiting for their parents.

The local authorities have condemned the incident, saying it has tarnished the image of the whole community.

“It's a small minority of the community that's making us all look bad,” councilor Cathal King told the Irish Independent, adding that it has set “a terrible example” for children that had to watch the chaotic scenes.

Labour Party MP Martina Genockey said that what happened “did not represent Tallaght,” calling the events a “mindless mess.”

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Nine people were arrested at the scene, and police seized the excavator from the crowd, the Irish Independent reported. It’s unclear how many people were involved in the pillaging, but police said they intend to use the footage circulating on social media to identify the suspects.

It was also reported that a Centra store located in Jobstown was also looted at around the same time.The store reported on Twitter that a police investigation has been launched into the incident. Three people have been arrested.

The Lidl and Centra stores were both closed on Friday amid staff and supply shortages due to the blizzard, the strongest to hit Ireland in 36 years.