Two men used distraction to steal bank card and money

theft

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Two Romanian men who used distraction to snatch a woman's bank card and steal €500 have been given jail.

At Portlaoise District Court, Christinel Monoflex (45), 6 Comeragh Road, Drimnagh, was charged with theft, while Gabriel Vieriu (37), of the same address, was charged with two counts of theft, at Tesco, Portlaoise, on October 23 this year.

Garda evidence outlined that on October 23 last, the injured party was doing her shopping in Tesco and placed a TSB card into the machine and keyed in the code. Gabriel Vieriu noted the code and followed the injured party to her car, and while the other accused distracted her the first accused got into her car and stole the bank card.

€500 was withdrawn from the injured party’s account.

Both accused had one previous conviction for theft.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said the accused, a Romanian national, had not been in the country long at the time, having arrived on October 22 and was due to go back on October 27.

Defence admitted this offence had been a sophisticated enough enterprise which had left the injured party at a loss. In his mitigation for Vieriu, Mr Fitzgerald said the accused was now serving a sentence on other matters and would be leaving the country when released with no intention of coming back to Ireland.

The court heard that the accused had €1,400 on him when he was captured in Cork, €600 of which belonged to an injured party in Cork. The remaining €800 was in garda custody.

Judge Catherine Staines directed this €800 go to the injured party, to assist in her trauma.

Judge Staines said it had been a premeditated and very sophisticated criminal enterprise and sentenced the two accused to six months in jail, with recognisance fixed in the event of an appeal.