Ireland

Stolen ‘high end’ handbags found by gardaí in Dublin shop

A mother-of-three will be sentenced later for handling €11,000 worth of stolen handbags taken in a burglary and found by gardaí for sale in a shop in Dublin.

Margaret Connors (26) of Glenshane Lawns, Tallaght, Dublin 24, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to handling stolen property on May 28th, 2019 at a city centre shop.

She has 12 previous convictions including theft, shoplifting and road traffic offences.

Garda Marguerite O’Reilly of the Special Crimes Task Force told Mr John Byrne, BL, prosecuting, that “high-end ladies’ handbags and shoulder bags” worth around €11,000 were taken in a burglary in Co Wicklow.

Search warrant

Two days later Garda O’Reilly’s supervisor passed on information to her about where the handbags were to be found, and she obtained a search warrant for a particular premises.

When she and her colleagues executed the warrant later that day, the handbags and other items were found on display being offered for sale. CCTV evidence shows Margaret Connors arriving to the shop with one of her children two days after the burglary, Garda O’Reilly said.

Connors can be seen presenting handbags taken in the burglary to the shop owner, who examined the items individually over the course of around 40 minutes.

The owner can then be seen handing her cash, Garda O’Reilly said.

On November 14th that year, gardaí raided Connors’ home and arrested her.

Questioning

When she was questioned at Kevin Street Garda Station, she said she had bought the particular items from a person at her home in Tallaght, and identified herself on CCTV in the shop, Garda O’Reilly said.

“I’d ask the court to deal with her as a first-time before these courts,” said Mr Kieran Kelly, BL, defending, saying her previous convictions for theft were dealt with at the District Court.

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He put it to Garda O’Reilly that Connors had answered questions when she was interviewed, and engaged with gardaí.

Garda O’Reilly confirmed these had been of “probative value”.

She has three children, aged seven, four and three, and lives with them in a caravan at the side of her mother’s house, Mr Kelly said. He said her husband was away, and at the time of the offence, she had been homeless.

Judge Karen O’Connor directed that a probation report be prepared, and adjourned the case for sentencing on October 8th.

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