Trio came to NI to steal phones, a court is told


Three men, arrested in the Craigavon area, travelled from London to go on a mobile phone shoplifting spree across Northern Ireland, the High Court has heard.

They used Google maps to target retailers in Enniskillen, Omagh and Dungannon and steal more than £4,000 worth of goods, it was claimed.

Prosecutors alleged that dummy iPhones may have been ordered in from China to replace genuine models taken from stores.

Details emerged as bail was refused to one of the men accused of carrying out the single-day crime blitz.

Paul Seed, 31, of Arbrook Court, Orpington, London, faces four charges of theft on 9 September.

He is further accused of going equipped for theft with a pair of nail clippers the following day.

Seed was arrested in the Craigavon area with his two co-accused.

According to the prosecution, smartphones had already been stolen from O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores.

The court was told that the total value of the models taken amounted to £4,200.

Refusing bail, the judge held there were no available terms which could manage the risk of releasing Seed.

Mr Justice Horner said: “The defendant with two others is accused of coming over to Northern Ireland in an obvious shoplifting spree designed to steal mobile phones from various shops in Northern Ireland.

“He is (allegedly) involved in a well-organised crime gang. In those circumstances I cannot be satisfied I can impose any conditions on him.”