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Alleged robber accused of targeting three Belfast shops

An alleged robber was remanded into custody today accused of taking up to £9,000 from shops across Belfast.

Patrick O'Rawe, 28, faces charges connected to three separate raids on retailers.

He appeared at the city's Magistrates Court accused of carrying out a burglary at a Spar on the Ballygowan Road on May 6.

O'Rawe, of Albert Street in Belfast, allegedly entered the manager's office and stole £2,500 in sterling, another 25 euros and three cartons of cigarettes.

Two further cases involve claims that he targeted two branches of health and beauty trader Savers.

He is charged with robbing a branch on the Lisburn Road of £6,495 in cash on March 25, and possessing an offensive weapon, namely a pair of scissors.

O'Rawe also faces counts of burglary, by stealing a purse from a store room at the shop, and attempted hijacking of a Mercedes Sprinter van on the same date.

The third case relates to an alleged aggravated burglary at Savers on College Street.

O'Rawe is accused of trying to steal from a staff office on May 13.

He is additionally charged with possessing a screwdriver with intent to commit aggravated burglary, going equipped for theft, common assault and criminal damage to a glass door smashed in the incident.

A detective told the court she could connect him to all of the charges.

Defence barrister Sean O'Hare said any bail application would be "pointless" as his client's licence has now been recalled.

On that basis District Judge Mark Hamill remanded O'Rawe in custody, to appear again by video-link in four weeks time.

Belfast Telegraph