'Pro thief' teen stole hundreds from elderly woman in 'distraction theft' on Grafton Street
AN 18-year-old "professional thief" with a string of convictions around Ireland has been found guilty of stealing €600 from a 69-year-old woman during a distraction theft at a bank machine on Dublin's Grafton Street.
The trial was held at the Dublin Children's Court because the youth was aged 17 at the time of the offence but he has since turned 18 and is now an adult.
The youth, Daniel Mazarache, of Esker Park, Lucan, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to the theft at an AIB bank machine on January 13 last.
The court heard the woman had entered her PIN into the ATM and at that point she was distracted by two people who withdrew the money and left. He was identified from CCTV.
Investigating Garda Cathal Feeley told Judge John O'Connor that the youth has 42 criminal convictions going back to 2013. About half of them were thefts while the rest included dangerous driving and other motoring offences as well as criminal damage.
He has been given community service orders, probation, suspended sentences and custodial sentences in the past.
The prior convictions and penalties were handed down by courts in Dublin, Athlone, Galway and Cork,
Judge O'Connor described the youth as a professional thief who put the woman through a "terrible experience".
He adjourned sentencing for a probation report to be obtained. The youth did not address the court or give evidence and his barrister Damian McKeone had argued that the CCTV footage quality was too poor to identify his client. However, the judge held against him and found the youth guilty.
The judge also noted the teenager had been arrested after a detective garda in Tullow, Co Carlow, saw the CCTV footage and said that he could identify him.
Judge O'Connor told the youth he is at "last chance saloon" as sentencing was adjourned until a date in July.