Men accused of Eglinton ‘creeper’ burglary

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Two men have appeared in court accused of a ‘creeper’ style burglary in Eglinton.

Ryan McGlinchey, (22) of Benview Estate, Coshquin, and 19-year-old Stephen Smith, of no fixed abode, are jointly charged with burglary and theft, taking a motor vehicle causing damage, arson, dangerous damage.

McGlinchey is further charged with having no insurance, criminal damage and obstructing police.

Smith is also charged with possession of diazepam, having no insurance and no driving licence.

All the offences relate to alleged incidents on February 28 and 29.

Derry Magistrates Court heard allegations a house in Eglinton was broken into on February 28 and a set of car keys were stolen. The vehicle was also taken from the front of the property.

It is alleged this car was later seen in Cornshell Fields and was crashed before being set alight in the Hazlebank area in the early hours of the morning.

A witness later reported to police that she had seen both defendants in the car before it had crashed.

She also alleged both men had come to her door at different occasions in the early hours and the morning and asked if they could come in.

It is alleged this witness, who was described as a vulnerable teen, knew both men.

The court heard allegations that Smith then returned to the witnesses’ home the following day and was ‘shouting’ for her to come out.

It is further alleged that McGlinchey was involved in a separate incident in Aubrey Street where he smashed a window of his girlfriend’s sister’s house with a can of cider.

During police interview, McGlinchey claimed he was with his girlfriend all night.

Smith made no comment.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer said both defendants are ‘priority offenders’ in the Foyle area.

He added that both men are currently on licence and Smith was only released from prison a week ago.

The officer told the court police are currently conducting a ‘robust investigation’ in relation to four burglaries in the Eglinton area the same weekend which police believe are connected.

It was also revealed that the defendants are on police bail in connection with alleged burglaries in Culmore on Christmas Eve.

The court heard when Smith was interviewed by police about these burglaries he told officers ‘When I get out of prison I am going to turn this city upside down. I am going to do things that will make you not want to sleep at night’.

The officer said police have concerns the defendants will commit further offences or interfere with witnesses.

He added that the witness and her family have ‘experienced intimidating behaviour’ in the last few days and have had their windows put in.

The officer also said police believe the men pose a risk of causing serious harm to the public.

District Judge Barney McElholm refused bail, stating ‘there is no chance’.

McGlinchey and Smith were remanded in custody to appear in court again via videolink on March 24.