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Thief hid in shop until closing then stole €2,000 of booze, cigs


 (stock photo)

(stock photo)

(stock photo)

A burglar who hid in a SuperValu store that was under renovation before stealing alcohol and cigarettes worth more than €2,000 when the premises shut has been jailed for two years.

Ian Browne (44) hid behind building materials and was later captured on CCTV trying to open cash registers before leaving with goods in a milk trolley after damaging fire doors.

The store manager alerted gardai after arriving to open the store at 7am and seeing spirit bottles missing and five tills damaged.

Browne, formerly of Granby Row, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary and criminal damage at SuperValu, Aston Quay, last August 20.

The defendant, who has 94 previous convictions, is currently serving two years and nine months for another burglary.

Gda Brian Roche told Monika Leech, prosecuting, that Browne was identified by a colleague after gardai viewed CCTV footage.


Browne could be seen on the CCTV walking around the shop, damaging the fire door sensors, removing a safety bar from a second fire door and trying to get money from five tills.

He also tried to gain access to lockers in a staff area and an office door.

Browne then put bottles of alcohol, cigarettes and food valued at €2,031 into bags and left through a rear fire door with a milk trolley. He returned later with the trolley. Repairs to the shop cost €721.

John Moher, defending, said Browne had been homeless for much of his life and had battled a heroin addiction since his early 20s.

He said he was drug-free and had not accrued any convictions between 2012 and 2017.

Mr Moher said Browne had gone into a downward spiral following his father's death a year-and-a-half ago and had relapsed into addiction.

He said he was currently doing well in custody, attending educational courses and reducing his methadone intake.

Mr Moher asked the court to take into account that Browne had waited until the store was closed and that no one had been present or put in fear.

Judge Melanie Greally imposed a three-and-a-half-year sentence, but suspended the final 18 months "in order to motivate him".