Three men remanded in custody after Portlaoise Aldi theft

€1,400 of groceries stolen

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Portlaoise Courthouse.

Three Romanian nationals have been remanded in custody in connection with the theft of almost €1,400 of groceries from a Portlaoise store on Wednesday.

At yesterday's (Thursday, April 26) sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Cristian Balanescu (43), with a given address at Alderwood Green, Tallaght, Co. Dublin, and Gheorgie Petre (40), Fernwood Avenue, Tallaght, were charged with an offence under section 4 of the theft act, at Aldi, Portlaoise, on April 25, 2018.

This related to the theft of groceries worth €1,394.88.

In addition, Cristian Balanescu is charged with an offence in Mullingar, and one in Swords.

A third man, Aurel Brica (48), with a listed address at Alderwood Green, Tallaght, was charged with handling stolen property, at the M7, Ballybrittas, on April 25.

The State objected to bail on the three men.

Evidence was given that in the case of Gheorgie Petre, the accused has a history of failing to answer his bail.

The accused had allegedly breached previous bail conditions by failing to sign on at the garda station.

In relation to Aurel Brica, the court heard that the accused had only been in Ireland two days and the State was not sure when he was intending to return to Romania. A prosecuting garda said he feared the accused may be a flight risk.

In relation to Cristian Balanescu, Garda Noel Tier said the accused had previously breached bail by failing to sign on at the garda station.

“It seems to be a group travelling together together to commit crime,” said Garda Tier.

The court also heard that there were concerns over the address of Alderwood Green provided by Cristian Balanescu and Aurel Brica.

Gardaí in Tallaght had spoken to the owner of the house and there were no Romanian nationals living there.

Defence for all three men, Ms Louise Troy said that that the address is actually Alderwood Grove and asked the gardaí to perhaps check there instead.

Replied Gard Tier: “If we were sure of the address I still wouldn’t be satisfied to grant bail.”

After hearing the outline of the alleged facts, Judge Catherine Staines remanded all three accused in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on May 2 next.