retail crime | 

Shoplifting eggs, sushi, gym equipment and alcohol among charges as 27 people appear in court

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PEOPLE accused of shoplifting eggs, sushi, gym equipment, laundry detergent and alcohol are among 27 being prosecuted under a garda operation targeting retail crime.

The cases were brought before Dublin District Court yesterday by gardai from the capital’s J district, where 22 men and five women were charged with some 37 offences arising from 29 alleged incidents at shops in the area.

Some of the accused had their cases adjourned yesterday to consider pleas while others pleaded guilty and were sentenced.

The garda district covers the Clontarf, Howth and Raheny areas in north Dublin.

Among those appearing before Judge Bryan Smyth today was Stephen Gaffney (30) of Westpark, Artane, who is charged with stealing €70 worth of detergent from Centra, Rosemount Avenue, Artane. The theft is alleged to have happened on January 24 this year.

The judge adjourned his case to a date in October, for the accused to decide how he intends to plead.

Stephen Leech (39) of Glencarrig, Sutton appeared in court charged with stealing sushi and two kettle bells from Supervalu, Sutton Cross on January 19. His case was also adjourned for consideration of a plea.

Dylan Mills (20) of Hampton Wood Square, St Magaret’s Road, Finglas is charged with stealing €5 worth of eggs from Centra, Killester Avenue on January 19 last year, and another €5 worth of eggs from the same shop on January 25, 2021.

Garda Sean White said Mr Mills was allegedly identified on CCTV and the property was not recovered. The accused’s solicitor said he had a “positive defence” to the charges which were also adjourned.

Gary O’Brien (36) of Greencastle Crescent, Coolock, pleaded guilty to theft of €136 worth of alcohol from Circle K, Bull Wall, Clontarf Road on October 4 last year.

The prosecuting garda said O’Brien put the alcohol into a bag and passed all points of payment. He had 249 previous convictions.

O’Brien was homeless at the time and in a “very desperate situation,” his solicitor Conor Ruane said. He was already serving another sentence when he appeared in court.

Judge Smyth jailed him for two months, concurrent.

According to gardai, the overall initiative “placed increased emphasis on business and retail outlets who were the victims of crime." Some 15 of the alleged offenders are from the Clontarf sub-district, with 11 from Raheny and three from Howth.

As well as theft, other accused are charged with criminal damage and burglary affecting the business sector.

Gardai reassessed historical reports of crimes to identify suspects in retail settings, a spokesperson said.

"This operation focuses on increased collaboration and cooperation with the business community in Raheny, Clontarf and Howth through increased engagement with Raheny Business Association," Superintendent David Kennedy of the J District said.

"Ultimately, this approach will promote crime awareness and enhance our relationships with the business community in the J District. I encourage all businesses to continue to report criminal matters to An Garda Síochána and to continue work collaboratively with us in the detection and prevention of crimes against the retail sector."

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