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Pair seen packing trolley and making off without paying targeted two Tesco stores in one day

They were observed placing the goods into a Mercedes car outside Tesco in Lurgan

Two men who carried out two thefts from Tesco stores in one day have been handed fines.

Cristian Bogdan Motrocean, 27, of Coronation Street, and Iosif Risto, 25, of Harford Street, both of Portadown, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard that on December 31, police received a report of two males leaving with a trolley full of items from Tesco, Lurgan, without paying.

The men were observed placing the goods into a Mercedes for which police were given the licence plate number.

Officers attended the home of the registered owner of the vehicle and the two males were identified as the defendants.

Police searched the car and found a large number of items from Tesco.

Both Motrocean and Risto were arrested for the offence.

It was later discovered that the pair had committed a theft from another Tesco store that same day. Some of the items were fit for resale.

During interview, Risto made no comment whilst Motrocean made full admissions.

Defence solicitor Pat Vernon stated: “Mr Motrocean has three kids and found himself unemployed at the time. He had been carrying out agency work but this stopped on the run-up to Christmas.

“He has a young family and he was desperate with no money.”

He said: “Mr Risto is slightly different, he went to the store with Motrocean and he always anticipated that his co-defendant had the money to pay.”

Prosecution stated that they were making an application to have the vehicle seized as it was used in both theft matters.

Mr Vernon said: “That would be very hard on Mr Motrocean. The car belongs to him and is very important for his family life.”

District Judge Peter King stated: “Mr Risto, you have one previous entry on your record for no insurance, you have nothing for dishonesty.

“I accept that your role was slightly less than that of your co-accused.”

Risto was ordered to pay a fine of £400, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

District Judge King then said: “Mr Motrocean, I am not going to consent to the seizing of your car but you do have one previous for theft in May 2017.”

Motrocean was ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.

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