Belfast Telegraph

Man charged with stealing from safes to be banned from entering east Belfast, court hears

By Alan Erwin

A man charged with smashing his way into a tattoo parlour and fast food restaurant to steal their safes is to be banned from entering east Belfast, a judge ordered on Friday.

The prohibition was imposed on John Little as he was granted bail over alleged break-ins at businesses and a home in the area.

The 44-year-old, of Glenmore Walk in Lisburn, is also accused of stealing a car during the crime spree in April.

He appeared before Belfast Magistrates' Court after being arrested and charged with three counts of burglary and a further aggravated vehicle taking.

A police detective said raiders smashed windows and entered the Black Pearl Tattoo Studio on Beersbridge Road between April 13-15.

A safe containing £1,400 in cash and two tattoo guns worth £700 were stolen.

Seven days later a Subway restaurant at Kings Square in the city was targeted.

Two men entered and tried at first to prise free the safe, before returning with a sledgehammer to complete a successful removal.

The storage unit was put into a BMW car which had been stolen during a burglary at a house on Island Street the same night.

Police later found the vehicle abandoned, with the safe and tools located nearby.

Little is allegedly linked through forensic checks, the court heard.

Defence counsel Richard McConkey argued that his client has been friends with with owner of the car for years.

"The only evidence is a forensic hot on movable objects," the barrister said.

"In a case of this nature it's purely circumstantial."

Granting bail, District Judge Nigel Broderick imposed a curfew and electronic monitoring on Little.

Mr Broderick also ordered: "He is not to enter east Belfast as defined by a map."

Little will appear back in court on January 19.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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