A serial shoplifter – who targeted a series of local stores and used stolen bank cards to make purchases in other premises - was last week jailed for eight months at Dundak district court.
The court heard Terezia Munteanu – who the court was told is homeless and living in a B&B, is a mother of four who is expecting her fifth child.
It was told the 36 year old had stolen €229 worth of perfume and a Windows tablet from Leavy’s Pharmacy on Clanbrassil Street Dundalk on June 28th last year – having placed them in her skirt.
On November 22nd last in Dunnes Stores, she left without paying for a bucket and a leg of lamb, which she had placed on the floor while paying for other items.
The accused also stole almost €40 worth of goods from Dealz on Earl Street five days later.
Two weeks after that she placed a jar of face cream in her skirt and left Matthews Pharmacy without paying.
Two days later, her then home in Castleross, Dundalk was searched and the face cream was recovered along with a large quantity of other property.
The court also heard how a woman who lost her phone and bank cards on December 23rd last, had cancelled the ATM cards but the accused made seven unauthorised transactions using a Revolut pre-paid debit card at various stores.
Two months later another woman’s ATM card was used to make unauthorised purchases at two other businesses.
The accused had 10 previous convictions.
The Defence solicitor said her client – who is expecting her fifth child at the end of January, had told her some of the gift sets she stole were for her family in the run up to Christmas and some she intended to sell to get money.
She added her client’s social welfare payments had been stopped at one point and that gave rise to theft.
After the solicitor stressed the accused is the primary carer in her family, Judge Eirinn McKiernan replied “She wasn’t worried about her children when she was committing these offences”.
The judge imposed a four month sentence for handling stolen property and a consecutive four month sentence for one of the fraud offences on December 23rd last.