Monday 22 January 2018

Thief stole jewellery after being asked for help to turn off alarm

Sonya McLean

A man who stole €180,000 worth of jewellery from a house after helping a woman who was trying to deactivate the house alarm will be sentenced next month.

"The story as it unfolded, if considered by film producers, would have been dismissed as totally unbelievable and not suitable for something on a TV or film set," Fergal Foley, prosecuting, told Judge Carmel Stewart in opening the case.

He also described the investigation as involving "the most amazing piece of police work" in bringing the thief, Martin Ryan (48), before the court.

Ryan, of North William Street, North Strand, pleaded guilty on the morning of his trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to trespass and theft of a quantity of jewellery in Stillorgan on April 21, 2010.

Garda Michael McCarthy told Mr Foley that a local businesswoman had asked one of her staff to return to her Stillorgan home and get her laptop.

The woman was provided with the house keys and codes to the alarm. She had trouble turning off the alarm and ran out on the street to seek help. She waved down a passing car.

Mr Foley said the driver of the car, Ryan, "very helpfully" came into the house and deactivated the alarm.

The employee then got the laptop but had trouble re-setting the alarm so left it off.

When her employer returned home she discovered that a safe, containing €180,000 worth of jewellery, had been taken.

Gda McCarthy said gardai are now "100pc confident" that the woman "had no hand" in the burglary. She did, however, lose her job.

CCTV

Gardai later identified the vehicle on CCTV footage from a nearby hotel as belonging to Ryan's former partner.

During a subsequent search of their home, metallic dust, a used disk from an angle grinder and a receipt for the hire of an angle grinder were found. Gardai later identified Ryan on CCTV footage from a local hire shop getting the angle grinder.

Gda McCarthy said analysis of a laptop in Ryan's home showed that someone had been searching websites for the value of the exact same Rolex watch which had been taken during the course of the burglary.

The staff worker then positively identified Ryan as the man who had come to her help during an informal identity parade.

Judge Stewart said she needed time to consider the case and adjourned it to April.

Irish Independent

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