'Professional' shop thief gets a suspended three year jail term
A 37-year-old Dublin man who took part in the theft of a large amount of women's clothes in Sligo other items from a store in Carrick-on-Shannon was described as being part of a professional shoplifting gang.
Shane O'Leary of Coburg Place, Seville Place, Dublin 1 admitted three counts of theft when he appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson at Sligo Circuit Court.
O'Leary admitted the theft of several dresses from Oasis, Quayside Shopping Centre on August 9th 2013 to the value of €2,159 and twenty blouses worth €700 from A-Wear, O'Connell Street on October 18th 2013. The third count related to the theft of items valued at €3, 509 from the Sports World Department at Heaton's in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Sergeant Niall Davey said the defendant was identified from CCTV footage and the thefts followed a similar pattern where a woman would enter the shop and organise items into a batch on a rail for the defendant to come in later and put into foiled lined bags and leave with. Some of the items from the Heaton's theft were recovered.
The defendant's home was searched and items unconnected to the charges before the court were found in a pre-fabricated building to the rear and also in his bedroom.
Mr Keith O'Grady BL with Ms Laura Spellman, solicitor (defending) said the defendant's life descended after the death of his father and he ended up with alcohol and drug problems.
Mr O'Grady said the defendant was a qualified mechanic who wanted to set up his own business. The total loss to the shops was just short of €5,000 while the defendant had €300 in court.
"That's a pretty pathetic effort when the case had been adjourned for compensation," interjected Judge Keenan Johnson.
The Judge said the case could only be described as a professional shoplifting gang and the DPP was right to proceed with the matter in the Circuit Court.
"This type of theft is a scourge of legitimate traders who are trying to keep afloat.
"I consider it very disappointing having been adjourned on two occasions for compensation," said Judge Johnson.
He added that it was clear once more the offending had stemmed from the abuse of drugs and alcohol.
A three year sentence was imposed, suspended for five years. O'Leary must also undergo 18 months probation service supervision and submit to regular urine analysis.
#He must also remain drug and alcohol free for five years and repay €5,000 in five yearly instalments of €1,000 each, the first this month.