Look-out man caught trying to change coins into notes

Look-out man caught trying to change coins into notes
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The look-out man for a burglary was caught with his accomplice when they went to a local supermarket afterwards to put coins from a stolen coin jar into a change machine to convert it into notes.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imposed a two-year sentence on Stephen Callis of 3 Cathedral Road, Gurranabraher, Cork. 

However, the judge took into consideration the eight months already spent in custody by Callis on remand and suspended the balance of the sentence – 16 months – on condition that he would keep the peace for the next two years.

Callis was one of two men who pleaded guilty to his part in burgling a house and stealing a jar of cash.

They were both caught after calling to a neighbouring supermarket to exchange the coins for notes at a change machine.

Callis’s part in the crime was to stay at the door of the house and keep look-out when his accomplice broke in to the house on November 9 2017 at Togher Road, Cork.

The accomplice, who was sentenced previously, entered the unoccupied house at 10.20 in the morning.

He got in by a back window. He stole a coin jar and two iPads. The stolen cash was estimated at €120 in cash and $40.

Both men then went across to Supervalu to change the coin at a coin changing machine.

As gardaí approached him on Togher Road the accomplice placed the two iPads behind the wheel of a parked car.

These stolen goods were later recovered and returned to the owner.

Callis had three previous theft convictions and several counts of having drugs for his own use. He also had one for assault causing harm.

Prosecution barrister Ray Boland said Callis’s co-accused had a substantially more colourful criminal record.

The 27-year-old had a history of drug use and had a chaotic lifestyle particularly around the time of this burglary, his barrister, Emmet Boyle said.

Mr Boyle said the defendant’s family had funded a residential treatment programme to deal with his drug difficulties.

The defendant was now back in a relationship with is partner and was also in employment.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin acknowledged, “In fairness to him, he has gone to some lengths to break that habit. He has come a long way and he has not come to the attention of gardaí.”

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