Brazen Dungannon thief drank beer in store and urinated in front of police before going on the run for seven years

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A Dungannon thief who brazenly drank stolen beer and crisps in a supermarket before urinating in front of police and then going on the run for seven years has been given 120 hours of community service.

Arvydas Karpusenka, 39, from Killymeal Road, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The court heard how in 2009 staff at Tesco’s, Cookstown, alerted police to the defendant’s bizarre behaviour after he was spotted removing an electronic camera from the shelves and then walking into a changing room where he consumed four tins of Budweiser and two packets of crisps.

When police arrived at the scene, they observed staff chasing Karpusenka across the car park. During his arrest by police, the defendant, who was unsteady on his feet, began to urinate in front of them.

Police discovered the camera hidden inside tinfoil within a bag he was carrying, while staff found empty tins of beer and crisp packets in the store changing room.

After CCTV footage was supplied to police showing Karpusenka removing the items, he was charged with indecent behaviour, theft and going equipped for theft.

His defence solicitor said that the fact that the defendant had consumed beer and crisps on the premises reflected the level of intoxication involved.

Although Karpusenka had originally attended court on a number of hearings, he left the country and returned to Lithuania, where his partner and two children lived.

He got a job and remained there until he lost his employment. He returned to Northern Ireland and has been helping to look after a relative’s children, said the solicitor.

The solicitor said that Karpusenka accepted that he had consumed too much alcohol in the past, but now no longer behaved in such a way. He added that the defendant was willing to do community service, but that there might be a language problem.

The judge told Karpusenka that he had made matters much worse for himself by attempting to evade justice for seven years.

He ordered the defendant to do sixty hours of community service for each of the theft offences, and fined him £70 for the indecent behaviour charge.