A man charged with criminal handling was caught by gardai with multiple stolen phones while looking up buses out of Galway.
Cosmin Stroescu (34), with an address at the North Circular Road in Dublin, pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal handling of six stolen phones at Galway District Court.
Detective Sergeant Fergus Gaughan said that on August 5 of 2018 he was patrolling in Eyre Square when he observed Stroescu behaving suspiciously.
He approached the defendant, asking him for ID and asking if he had any property on him that didn’t belong to him.
Stroescu then took six phones out from inside his jacket the garda said, all of which were turned off and had their SIM cards removed.
Gardaí had already received reports that night of multiple phones being stolen from bars around the city.
The garda also said that when he approached Stroescu he was looking up directions to the bus station, and buses to Dublin.
He told the District Court that this was a joint enterprise, and that Stroescu was given the role of holding the stolen phones after the fact.
When interviewed by gardaí he made full admissions to the criminal handling.
The total value of the stolen phones was roughly €3,000 and all were successfully returned to their owners.
Mr Stroescu’s solicitor said that he had debts at the time and felt pressured.
He added that his client was deeply remorseful and didn’t want to find himself in court again.
The judge accepted his remorse, but added that the amount of charges and the sheer value of the stolen goods made this more serious.
He imposed a six month prison sentence and suspended it in its entirety for a year.