Belfast Telegraph

Man stole iPhones and tried to take stuffed toy grabber machine in city centre theft

By Alan Erwin

A serial thief who tried to steal a teddy bear-grabber machine was jailed today for a total of 16 months.

A serial thief who tried to steal a teddy bear-grabber machine was jailed today for a total of 16 months.

Daniel Madden's attempted raid on the stuffed animal 'claw' machine at Belfast's Castlecourt shopping complex came amid a shoplifting spree across the city.

The 27-year-old also stole iPhones from the Apple Store and targeted three different shops for hundreds of pounds worth of clothing.

Madden, of Wall Street in the city, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and an attempted theft from the machine in April 2013.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard CCTV footage identified him at the scene while blood smears were found on the machine.

A prosecution lawyer revealed that £356 worth of damage was caused in the incident.

Madden also admitted charges of theft and going equipped for theft at TK Maxx on Boucher Cresent three months later.

He was said to have been part of a two-man team involved in removing security tags from 11 items of clothing valued at £440. None of the garments left the shop.

Further counts of theft related to taking two iPhones worth £1,000 from the Apple Store in Victoria Square back in January 2012.

Madden also stole two shirts worth £90 from the nearby Superdry shop last March.

A final offence involved the theft of coats valued at £300 from Peacocks in Belfast.

Activating a previously suspended prison term as part of her sentencing, District Judge Amanda Henderson ordered Madden to serve a total of 16 months behind bars.

She said: "There has just been a string of offending."

Madden was hugged by friends in the public gallery before being led to the cells.

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