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Jeweller in hostage drama rescued by police

Robbery gang's hostage freed in dramatic swoop

By Claire Regan

Published 08/12/2006

A Belfast jeweller was rescued from hostage-takers trying to rob his business after a dramatic police operation involving a helicopter

A Belfast jeweller was rescued from hostage-takers trying to rob his business after a dramatic police operation involving a helicopter.

Police said the victim was taken from his captors unharmed after officers from the PSNI's crime operations squad foiled an attempt by criminals to steal a substantial amount of valuables from his business.

The businessman, understood to be the owner of McClelland Wholesale Jewellers on Stockman's Lane in south Belfast, was freed after police stopped a car in Finaghy that two robbers jumped out of and fled.

Two men were arrested at the scene and were last night helping police with inquiries.

A quantity of goods and a firearm were said to have been recovered from the car which is understood to have been chased by police before it was stopped.

A police spokeswoman said the alert was raised from a home in the Belfast area at about 5pm. She said a police response was launched involving the support of a police helicopter and lasting an hour-and-a-half.

It is understood the jeweller was the only person held captive and there were no other family members involved.

There was speculation that the man was taken by the thieves from his home to his business on Stockman's Lane where the valuable goods were removed before he was driven off in the car.

Police last night carried out detailed forensic searches of the victim's home and business.

They had also sealed off the Finaghy Road junction with Brenda Park where the car was stopped. A number of police vehicles remained in the area last night as further examinations were carried out.

Belfast Telegraph

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