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Man who stole 'everything bar a cuddly toy' from Derry shops jailed

Accused pursuing a 'career as a professional shoplifter' - judge

Man who stole 'everything bar a cuddly' toy from Derry shops jailed

The Tesco store at Lisnagelvin, one of the shops targeted by Stokes

A man who stole “everything bar a cuddly toy” from a a number of shops in Derry, was today jailed at the city's Magistrate's Court.

Shane Martin Stokes, 23, of Racecourse Drive in the city, admitted a series of thefts that occurred in 2017 and 2018 from various shops.
The court was given details of the incident on 24 November 2018 when two males and two females entered a shop and collected items in a trolley.
Stokes was seen with a flatpack bed and tried to leave the shop without paying.
He was identified but police had difficulty locating him as it was believed believed he had gone to England.
The court heard police received a report of a theft from Lidl on the Buncrana Road on 25 April the same year.
The thieves made off in a car which police stopped a short time later. Although the goods were not found, evidence of debris from them was found.
The goods were later given to police.
The court was further told that on 14 December 2017 two males one of them Stokes entered a jeweller's and asked to see rings.
While they were looking at the rings, a distraction was caused and the defendant made off with a ring.
On 21 December 2018 Stokes was identified by police as being involved in the theft of goods including a DVD player.
The court also told about the theft of £1,300 worth of goods from Homebase on 22 November 2018.
Again, police were able to identify Stokes as one of those involved.
Stokes was also identified as being involved in thefts from Tescos at Lisnagelvin on 30 November and one from Boots in the same month in 2018.
Defence solicitor, Seamus Quigley, said that Stokes “could have dragged this one outt” but didn't.
He said the delay was due to the fact Stokes was resident in England.
Deputy District Judge, Liam McStay, said it appeared Stokes was pursuing a “career as a professional shoplifter.”
He sentenced him to a total of seven months in prison and ordered him to pay more than £1,000 in compensation.

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