Man accused of stealing £15k of goods in Tesco raids granted bail
A man accused of stealing more than £15,000 worth of alcohol and other goods in raids on Tesco stores across Northern Ireland has been granted High Court bail.
Adrian Olteanu, 34, is to be released from custody on charges linked to an alleged six-day shoplifting spree.
Prosecutors claimed Olteanu was part of a three-man team of Romanian nationals who repeatedly loaded trolleys full of drink, covered them with towels and walked out without paying.
Tesco stores in Lisburn, Newry and Banbridge were allegedly targeted between September 23-28.
A Crown lawyer revealed the total value of goods is expected to rise above £15,000 once final stock checks are completed.
Olteanu, with an address at Mount Rochford Drive, Balbriggan in the Irish Republic, faces charges of theft, attempted theft, going equipped for theft and handling stolen goods.
According to the prosecution the three men stacked up on bottles of alcohol, left the stores and either loaded a nearby car or else abandoned the trolleys if they were being watched.
The trio then returned to steal again during the spate of raids, it was claimed.
They were arrested after police stopped an Audi A4 car on the A1 near Lisburn.
Large quantities of alcohol with security tags still attached was discovered in the boot.
Mr Justice Colton was told more than £9,000 worth of the stock has not been recovered.
Defence barrister Mark Farrell argued that Olteanu should be released due to potential delays in the case.
Granting bail to an address in Belfast, the judge imposed strict conditions, including a night-time curfew and electronic tagging.
He barred the defendant from contacting his co-accused, ordered him to surrender his passport and prohibited him from driving any car without first notifying police.
Belfast Telegraph Digital