Shoplifting accused refused bail

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Two men accused of being members of ‘an organised shoplifting gang’ have been refused bail.

Michael Brown, (26), and 28-year-old Richard John Green, both of Lower Nassau Street, are charged with conspiracy to steal, handling stolen goods, theft, going equipped for theft and handling property stolen in the Republic of Ireland.

The offences were allegedly committed between March 22 and August 5.

Derry Magistrates Court heard a total of five men were arrested in relation to the offences and all but one of them have been remanded in custody.

It is alleged the men targeted certain shops in the city and stole football jersey’s, fragrance and designer clothes. They allegedly used a crisp bag with a flip lid, lined in tin foil inside a large bag to carry out the thefts.

The court was told when Green was arrested he had £2,000 concealed in his buttocks.

Opposing bail, an investigating officer told the court police believe Brown and Green are ‘main operators’ in the shoplifting gang and they fear they will commit further offences or not turn up for trial.

Defence counsel Daniel Mullan said Brown has a proposed bail address outside of the United Kingdom, while Green had offered an address in the Waterside area of Derry.

District Judge Peter King refused bail because the bail addresses were not suitable and fear of further offences.

Brown and Green were remanded in custody until December 11.