herald

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Teenage thief stole five bikes and friend sold four of them online

John McDonald (19) broke into the shed and returned “again and again”, taking bikes worth thousands of euro, a court heard. (stock photo)
John McDonald (19) broke into the shed and returned “again and again”, taking bikes worth thousands of euro, a court heard. (stock photo)

A teenage bicycle thief targeted the same garden shed three times, stealing five diff- erent bikes, with most of them ending up being sold on a Facebook marketplace.

John McDonald (19) broke into the shed and returned "again and again", taking bikes worth thousands of euro.

McDonald, of Greenhills Court, Tallaght, admitted multiple counts of unauthorised taking of bikes from the same address at Bushy Park, Terenure, in July and August last year.

Remarking that they were "opportunistic" crimes, Judge Alan Mitchell fined him €350.

McDonald was also given a three-month sentence suspended for 18 months for a separate shoplifting incident.

Dublin District Court heard he went to the address in Terenure on July 9 last year, entered the shed and stole a Giant mountain bike and cross bike, worth €700 each.

He returned on July 24 and stole a Carabela road bike worth €1,400. This was never recovered.

On August 17 or 18, he went back and took a Giant mountain bike and Lapierre road bike.

The court heard the shed was locked but the defendant popped the lock and got in.

Camera

Of the five bikes, only the Lapierre bicycle, which was worth €700, was recovered and returned to the owner.

McDonald was caught on camera with the third stolen bike.

He was co-operative with gardai, and while one bike was recovered the rest had been sold online by a friend, the court heard.

They were sold on a marketplace on Facebook where bikes were for sale, a garda said.

Officers found it was an anonymous account that could not be tracked.

McDonald is from the Pearse Street area and had been taken into care at the age of 14, his solicitor Jeremy Ring said.

Since leaving care he had not had stable accommodation and was "couch surfing".

His girlfriend is expecting their first child next month and McDonald had been employed recently in building work, Mr Ring said.

The judge remarked: "It was opportunistic, going back."

In the shoplifting incident, the court heard McDonald stole aftershave worth €99 from Boots, Baggot Street, last Nov- ember 23.

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