South Belfast car break-ins: Alleged thief banned from being within 50m of any victim's home
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, is accused of using a stolen mountain bike to get around areas of the city where the crime-spree was centred.
He 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."
Bagdzius is also allegedly linked to raids on two properties where more than £5,000 worth of belongings was stolen, the court heard.
Defence barrister Michael Boyd confirmed his client intends to make admissions on most of the charges.
"He was trying desperately to obtain money to support his partner and their young son," the lawyer said.
Basing his application on the length of time Bagdzius has already spent in custody, Mr Boyd contended: "Given the snail-like progress the case has made it's an appropriate time to give this man a chance on bail."
Mr Justice Deeny agreed to release the accused on condition that he stays at a hostel in Ballymena, Co Antrim.
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."
Belfast Telegraph Digital