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‘Organised criminals’ target Tullamore charity clothes bank

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THREE men have been given community service for theft from a Breast Cancer Awareness clothing bring-bank in Tullamore.

Gardaí found Marian Colacel (24), Adrian Galatanu (27) and Cristian Galatanu (30), all Romanian natives living at Annfield Drive, Carpenterstown, Dublin at the Tesco bring bank on March 2 this year.

Judge Catherine Staines described the offence as “organised crime” which is a problem throughout the country.

The men were removing clothes when Gardaí arrived, and Mr Colacel was in the bin, which he also admitted causing €1,200 damage to.

A total of €500 in clothing was taken.

None of the men are working and none have previous convictions.

The court heard they were sorry for what they had done, and didn’t realise they were causing harm to a bona fide charity.

“It felt like it wasn’t theft from a shop,” Mr Patrick Martin said on behalf of Mr Colacel, who he said had no money at the time. Mr Donal Farrelly said his client, Adrian Galatanu was planning to sell the clothes to Northern Ireland because he was in serious financial difficulty.

However, Judge Staines was unimpressed with the men’s explanation and adjourned the case briefly to see if they could give assistance to Gardaí.

“It was obviously organised crime,” she said.

Later Inspector Kieran Keyes said they tried to contact the alleged Mr Arunas, whose name and number the men had given, but that the phone was unregistered.

Mr Farrelly said that such a man would never disclose his full details to men like his client, and that it was their first time involved in such an enterprise.

They had gathered €300 for the court, despite their difficult circumstances, he said.

Recalling that she had jailed another man for a similar offence, who had pleaded not guilty, she noted their pleas and their lack of previous convictions and ordered they complete 200 hours community service in lieu of six months in jail.

They will appear before the court again on July 4 for a community service report.

 

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