Looters pillage Lidl with excavator amid Ireland's worst blizzard in 36 years (VIDEO)
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.
Can anyone explain to me why people in Ireland have robbed a digger and demolished their local Lidl? Genuinely confused by this.pic.twitter.com/OPY390DIDE— Liam O'Hare (@Liam_O_Hare) March 2, 2018
Another video shows the same machine attempting to crack open a safe that was dragged out from the store.
So it seems the locals of #Tallaght, #Dublin have mistaken a bit of snow for the end of the world and have broken into the local #Lidl with a digger to loot and steal the safe. Mental. #BeastFromTheEastpic.twitter.com/njtlI02QrH— Blank (@Amaru365) March 2, 2018
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.
Gardai receive calls of looting by 30 people at Lidl store in west Dublin. Officers unable to attend as dealing with other issues. Army called to assist. pic.twitter.com/1tWNNj71Zz— Stephen Breen (@SteBreen) March 2, 2018
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.”
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.