A Cavan resident has been jailed for two years for possession of 117 stolen bicycles with an estimated value of €50,000.
Dinas Bimbiras (47) said he had spent €20,000 buying the bicycles at markets around the outskirts of Dublin for a “long held ambition” to set up a business to fixing them up and selling them on.
Owners were traced for 34 of the bikes and the rest, also believed stolen, were sold at auction.
Bimbiras of Maple Drive, Drumgola Wood, Cavan, Co Cavan pleaded guilty to possession of 116 of the bicycles in a container at allotments in south Co Dublin in December 2019 and one bicycle at his home in May 2020. He has one previous conviction for drink-driving.
Judge Martin Nolan said it seemed to him the recklessness involved in the defendants acquisition of the bicycles was of the highest level and was almost “wilful blindness”. He said Bimbiras must have suspected he was handling stolen property.
Judge Nolan said there was good mitigation in the case such as co-operation and a good work history. He noted he was a good family man and his family were doing very well.
He questioned if Bimbiras deserved a prison sentence by reason of his wrong doing and noted a prison term would have great consequences for his family.
Judge Nolan said without handlers and receivers of stolen property people would be less inclined to steal. He imposed a two-year term from today’s date.
Garda David Dolan told John Berry BL, prosecuting, that on the basis of information not relevant to this investigation he had obtained a warrant to search a container on an allotment. On opening the container he found it “full to the brim” of neatly stacked bicycles, separated by cardboard.
He arranged for scenes of crime investigators to attend and forensics were taken. His inquiries led him to nominate Bimbiras as a suspect. He was arrested and a further bicycle found at his home.
A national media campaign identified 34 owners of bicycles, the remaining owners were not traced.
Gda Dolan said the bicycles ranged in quality, specifications and value, but the estimated total value of the bicycles found was €50,000. The owners traced for the bicycles were geographically spread countrywide with no discernible pattern.
Defence counsel said Bimbiras, a married father of two, had been in the country since 2001 and worked hard all that time.
She said he was a very involved father and his children were doing very well. She said is the principal breadwinner for his family and they were dependent on him.
She said his plan was to buy cheap, fix them up and sell on for a profit. She said he sold some on Done Deal and had hoped to bring some back to Lithuania for a friend to sell at markets there.
She said he had spent almost the entirety of his savings buying the bicycles, as well as spending money fixing them up. She said he had not been careful enough about the source of the bicycles.
She said the dream he had for his business is gone and even with better safeguards in place he is too frightened to continue.
She submitted it had been a valuable guilty plea and the courts could see him as rehabilitated and unlikely to reoffend.
She said he had brought shame worry and possibly catastrophic consequences on his family. She said he had not come to any further garda attention.