Charity clothes bin raid costs pair €350
GUILTY: Door-to-door team wanted to 'top up' own haul
A DOOR-to-door collector climbed into a clothing recycling bin and threw out bags of clothing to his friend as the pair were trying to "top up" their own collections, a court heard.
Ghenadie Scoarta (22) and Veaceslav Moraru (30) were caught as they left a shopping centre car park in a van full of bags of clothing.
A court heard that one of the men managed to climb into the clothing bin, through the lid at the top, and handed out the bags to the other man, who had a Transit van waiting nearby.
Scoarta and Moraru admitted before Tallaght District Court to handling stolen property, worth €250 at Rathfarnham Shopping Centre, Butterfield Avenue, Rathfarnham shortly after 6pm on March 7 last.
Garda Sergeant Carmel Henry said gardai received a call from security staff in Tesco claiming that two men in a red Transit van were stealing items from the charity clothing bin.
When gardai arrived at the centre, Sgt Henry said there was no one at the bin so they parked across the road, and shortly after they saw the Dublin-registered red van leaving the car park.
Sgt Henry said gardai spoke to the men, and looked into the van which was full of bags of clothing.
The court heard the men had no previous convictions.
Defence solicitor Eddie O'Connor said the men are plasterers by trade but when work dried up they started working as clothing collectors.
Mr O'Connor said the men work door-to-door for another individual, leaving black sacks at houses and then returning days later to collect the clothing.
He said the pair went to the charity bin to "top up their load".
The court heard that Scoarta, of Littlepace Avenue in Clonee, is originally from Moldova and is single.
Moraru, from Springlawn Heights in Tallaght, is married, and his wife and child live in Moldova.
Mr O'Connor said both men were worried about a conviction. Judge James McDonnell fined them €350.