A bungling serial thief, who was rumbled after targeting the same shop every lunchtime for two weeks while wearing a high visibility vest, has been jailed for four months.
In a bizarre catalogue of errors, Maciej Kwasney, from Roxborough Heights, Moy, was apprehended by police after he was reported shoplifting at the Co-Op supermarket on the village’s Dungannon Road, on May 4.
Police did not have to examine the CCTV footage long to find more evidence.
Displaying behaviour that could be classed as brazen or just plain stupid, the 37 year-old was caught on camera strolling through the aisles of the supermarket in his bright yellow vest shortly after 1pm on thirteen consecutive days, and stealing items at random from the shelves, before walking out of the shop unchallenged.
Dungannon Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday how the Lithuanian national was arrested by police on May 4, after he returned to the shop in the evening.
Kwasney had no choice but to admit the offences when he was shown the CCTV footage.
The defence solicitor sought leniency on the grounds that Kwasney’s law-breaking had shown ‘no sophistication in any sense’, and that it seemed to suggest a ‘complete breakdown in rational thinking’.
He added that the defendant had lived in Northern Ireland for the past ten years and had been in continuous employment.
“Although he has shown a blatant disregard for the law, he was motivated because of his financial circumstances and had been forced to put his own needs and that of his wife and children above the law”, explained the solicitor.
He asked for credit because of the defendant’s early guilty plea and lack of a previous record.
However, Judge Bernie Kelly castigated the Kwasney for his ‘almost staggering disregard for criminal law’.
“You selected a small supermarket that probably has no security staff, and despite having a secure job, you chose to steal from it on a daily basis”, she said, branding his behaviour ‘arrogant’.