Armed gardai were involved in a tense stand-off with a man at Balbriggan harbour who was suspected of robbing a shop at gunpoint at the weekend.

The manhunt began at around 4pm on Saturday after a man in his 30s armed with what was described as a gun raided Shankeys menswear shop in Skerries.

He threatened a female member of staff and made off with a small sum of cash.

According to locals the raider fled into a local church to hide but was eventually arrested at the harbour on Sunday after he fled across the sand during low tide.

One eyewitness told Dublin Gazette: “This was scary stuff because nobody knew what was going on.

“The helicopter was hovering overhead and there were armed gardai all over the place.”

Meanwhile, gardai in Swords are investigating an armed raid on the Netto shop in Applewood Village just after 3pm last Thursday, May 9.

The masked raider, who was wearing a balaclava and armed with a knife, threatened the two staff members behind the counter and ordered them to empty the till.

Gardai are examining CCTV footage which shows the robber repeatedly slamming the end of the weapon off the counter as a shop assistant tries to calm him down.

The raider, who is suspected to be local, made off with almost €2,000. Staff escaped injury but are said to be “badly shaken up”.

However, the female member of staff caught up in Saturday’s raid in Skerries has not yet been able to return to work. She was physically unharmed but was left shocked by the ordeal.

The garda Armed Support Unit and garda helicopter were sent to the scene after Saturday’s raid on Strand Street. On Sunday gardai confronted a man at Balbriggan harbour following reports that he was seen acting suspiciously.

After a stand-off lasting a number of minutes the man – who gardai believe was behind Saturday’s armed raid – jumped into the bay when the tide was out and ran between the boats.

He was surrounded by gardai who talked him into giving himself up.