Belfast Telegraph

Strict bail terms for break-ins accused

By Alan Erwin

An alleged thief accused of a dozen car break-ins across south Belfast must not go within 50 metres of any victim's home, a High Court judge has ordered.

Mr Justice Deeny imposed the prohibition as part of conditions for granting bail to Tomas Bagdzius.

The 31-year-old Lithuanian national is charged with 12 counts of handling stolen goods, along with further offences of theft, criminal damage, attempted fraud by false representation and going equipped for theft.

Prosecutors said he is also being investigated in connection with two other street robberies.

Bagdzius, formerly of Railway Street in Donaghadee, was first arrested last September after the window of an Audi A3 parked at Cranmore Avenue was smashed and handbags and bank cards stolen, the court heard.

After being released on police bail he was stopped again in November while cycling slowly in the Malone area. A screwdriver was allegedly discovered under the bike's saddle.

Prosecution counsel Adrian Higgins told the court: "That detection led to a search of the applicant's home address and what the (police) officer described as a shedload of stolen items – handbags, bank cards and purses were recovered from that address.

"They relate to a plethora of similar thefts from parked motor vehicles in the south Belfast area."

Mr Justice Deeny agreed to release the accused on condition that he stays at a hostel in Ballymena. Imposing a curfew and ban on contacting any witnesses, the judge added: "He's to be given a list of locations of the alleged offences and he is not to go within 50 metres of those premises."

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