Thief jailed after using wheelie bin for Argos store raids

A thief who twice loaded a wheelie bin full of rugs and walked out of a Belfast store without paying has been jailed for six months.

Tuesday, 25th July 2017, 6:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 10:57 am
The raids were carried out at Argos

Sean Reid, 32, carried out repeat raids on Argos in the city centre for £430 worth of floor mats he then sold on the street.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard the prison sentence was being handed down to the serial offender for the benefit of society.

Dstrict Judge Fiona Bagnall said: “Shopkeepers need to know he’s not going to be taking wheelie bins full of goods out of their stores.”

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Reid, of Divismore Crescent in the city, was arrested after carrying out the second theft on March 30 this year.

Prosecution counsel Natalie Pinkerton said he was stopped as he pushed the wheelie bin along Fountain Lane.

He immediately confessed to police that he had stolen the contents from Argos, having completed a similar raid earlier that day.

Reid stole a total of eight rugs during his two trips to the store.

“He said he then sold them on the street for approximately £60,” Ms Pinkerton added.

A defence lawyer acknowledged Reid’s poor record, but argued that his offending was linked to an opiate addiction.

“When he’s consumed by his medication he goes on crime sprees,” the solicitor said.

Based on the offences and Reid’s previous record, Mrs Bagnall ruled that he must serve immediate custody.

She added: “I appreciate in some ways that unless he gets help it’s a bleak (future).”