Saturday 24 September 2016

Remorseful thief returns hanging baskets after 'name and shame' threat on social media

David Kearns

Published 29/05/2015 | 14:09

A shop owner’s threat to "name and shame" a thief who stole two hanging baskets from his store has paid off as the man behind the theft has been in touch to return the €70 a piece decorations.

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Brian Noonan (25), owner of Noonan's Checkout in Terenure, Co Dublin, said he was happy that the matter had been sorted because he “hadn’t wanted to involve the Gardai”.

“I just got a call from the man and he has apologised for everything. I don't want to go into details but I believe he's genuinely sorry and that's enough. I’m meeting him shortly now to get the baskets back.”

“We had a good chat and he’s decided to paid for the damage done to the store, and to also donate some money to a charity to thank all the people who helped track him down.”

Speaking to Independent.ie, the young store owner said he would like to thank the public for all their support, adding he had been surprised by the rapid response to his posting on Facebook.

Earlier today, he had posted a blurred image of the thief and warned he had until 3pm today to return the €70 apiece baskets or he would post a clear image of the man “for everyone to see”.

Owner Brian Noonan at his shop 'Checkout' where hanging baskets were stolen.
Owner Brian Noonan at his shop 'Checkout' where hanging baskets were stolen.

“Even without seeing his face, a lot of people were able to tell me who he was,” Mr Noonan said.

“This outcome is much better than if the Gardai had gotten involved. I’ve the baskets back, the damage done is going to be paid for, and the guy behind it all is sorry. You couldn’t ask for more.”

Despite running afoul of the Data Commission, the young businessman said it had been worth the trouble and encouraged other businesses to do the same.

“I got a call from the commission to warn me about putting up the guy’s image and naming him but you can’t argue with results.”

“If you’ve got a clear image or footage and you’ve got a reliable source for who it was, then I’d tell other shops to do the same.”

“Public shaming is effective, it works. It's a much worse fate for a lot of people than a criminal record."

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