Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man is accused of stealing coffee and razor blades 'to order'

Coop on the Beersbridge Road
Coop on the Beersbridge Road

A man charged with the theft of hundreds of pounds worth of coffee and razor blades was allegedly "stealing to order", the High Court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutors claimed James Bowers took large quantities of specific stock from retailers he targeted in east Belfast.

A judge was also told the 29-year-old is under investigation for further raids involving £2,500 worth of spectacles and vacuum cleaners valued at £1,800.

Bowers, of Withham Street in the city, was refused bail.

He currently faces three counts of theft over incidents last month.

A Crown lawyer said Bowers went to a police station on November 21 and declared that he had been involved in shoplifting at a Co-op on the Beersbridge Road earlier that day.

Staff at the premises confirmed that a man had entered, selected £115 worth of coffee from the aisles and left without paying.

Bowers also allegedly stole three gift sets valued at £40 from a Boots store on the Woodstock Road the same day.

He is accused of returning to the same branch on November 26 to take razor blades worth £166.58.

None of the goods were recovered, according to prosecution counsel.

She told the court further cases are pending for which Bowers has not yet been charged.

They involve the alleged theft of large volumes of glasses from Specsavers and vacuum cleaners from B&M Bargains.

Opposing bail, the barrister added: "Police say this man is stealing to order, given the specific nature of the items he steals."

Richard McConkey, defending, said his client has a drugs problem, with any items allegedly stolen to sell on and fund his habit.

"The fact he handed himself in to police and confessed to the theft of coffee without any prompting shows that when he's in sobriety he regrets the offences," Mr McConkey added.

Denying bail due to the risk of re-offending, Mr Justice Huddleston said he had reached his decision with "something of a heavy heart".

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