A manhunt is underway after five burglars wearing balaclavas broke into a Wicklow store before attacking a garda squad car with weapons.
The shocking incident took place in Ashford on Friday night and has been captured on CCTV, obtained by Wicklownews.net.
Just after 1.20am, five individuals arrived at Centra in Ashford before breaking into the premises.
At one stage, one of the men got locked into a store room but was helped out by his accomplice.
The alarm was raised and gardai arrived at the scene.
The men left the premises having stolen just a can of coke before attacking the garda vehicle with hammers and crow bars.
The CCTV footage shows how gardai sped after the men after they fled the scene.
They reached the M11 but managed to escape.
Two other attempted burglaries took place in Rathnew and Enniskerry on the night in question.
Gardai believe the same gang is responsible.
Sources say the incident in Ashford illustrates the difficulties facing gardai on the front line.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Wicklow Garda Station on 0404-67107.