Gardaí who carried out a search on a suspected serial shoplifter’s home have said it was akin to walking into a major high street department store due to the amount of high end items found inside.
Detectives said they are still trying to trace the locations of where various goods were allegedly taken from after a man appeared in court last week charged with a series of thefts in Longford and across the midlands.
Colm Quinn, Kilmaine, Fortal, Co Offaly was charged with stealing over €3000 of clothing and footwear from Heaton’s, Ballymahon Street, Longford on May 21 2017.
A further charge of stealing groceries totalling €350 from Dealz, Golden Island Shopping Centre, Athlone on February 8 2017 and €257 of goods from Harry Corry’s, also in Athlone was similarly disclosed.
In almost every occasion, Mr Quinn was accompanied by one or more females, Inspector Bláithín Moran said.
She added in terms of the Heaton’s episodes, Mr Quinn resorted to filling suitcases with stock from inside the store before fleeing.
During the course of those revelations being made known, a garda approached the bench to explain what they had found when a search was carried out on the defendant’s home address.
“It was like walking into a Heaton’s store,” he said.
“There was just so much stuff and there were five Christmas trees set up.”
The difficulty gardaí were now having was trying to trace what stores the items were taken from as most of them had their tags removed.
“There were signs of love, clothing displays, bric-a-brac. There was just an awful lot of stuff,” said the garda while noting Mr Quinn’s previous occupation as an interior decorator.
It also emerged the 42-year-old had 95 previous convictions under his belt.
Defence solicitor John Quinn said his client who suffers from epilepsy was currently serving an eight month sentence and did not expect to be released from prison until March 2018.
“He has two children and is trying to avail of whatever courses are available to him (in prison),” he said.
“He (Mr Quinn) has worked in the past and has been an assistant in a kitchen. It is his intention to go straight,” added the Longford solicitor.
Judge Seamus Hughes announced he would be adjourning all matters until a sitting of Mullingar District Court last Wednesday, telling Mr Quinn that he would address the charges read out on that occasion.