TWO Lithuanians caught stealing clothes from a charity bank had done a whistle-stop tour of banks across North Wales, a court heard.
Analysis of a sat-nav found in their Ford Transit van revealed that after leaving Manchester on the afternoon of January 12 they visited Ellesmere Port, Chester, Mold, Rhos, Holywell, Rhyl, Llandudno and Llandudno Junction – all locations with clothes banks in supermarket or municipal car-parks.
Police also found a notebook containing postcodes across North Wales, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire.
Robertas Lidzius, 23, and a 17-year-old who cannot be named, were caught when police officers spotted them near a container in Llyn Bach car-park, Porthmadog, just before 11pm.
Prosecutor Peter Humphrey Jones told Prestatyn magistrates that among items found in bags alongside and inside the van was a sweatshirt from Ysgol Llywelyn, Rhyl, which had on it a child’s name-tag, and when interviewed the mother said she had deposited the item in the bank at Sainsbury’s store in Rhyl.
And when police visited Lidzius’s home in Polefield Grange, Prestwich, Manchester, they found 89 bags of clothing in a nearby alleyway.
He denied involvement in organised theft, claiming he got lost in North Wales, and was putting clothes into the bank.
The teenager said he had visited his sister in the Bangor area, was picked up by his friend, but became aware of the intention to steal only when they were travelling in the van.
Mr Humphrey Jones told the court: “There is clearly a value in unwanted clothing it must have been worthwhile going to the expense of hiring the van and travelling considerable distances.”
Both defendants admitted going equipped to steal.
Frances Willmott, defending, said the teenager arrived in the UK on holiday in January and had to return by June.
Lidzius, she said, had been in the country for five months and became involved in theft because he was short of money. He had recently obtained a job as a delivery driver.
The teenager was given a six-month conditional discharge and Lidzius was given a five-month community order, and handed a 9pm – 6am curfew for four months. He was also ordered to pay costs totalling £210.
Chairman Jim Robbins told the pair: “You have pleaded guilty to going equipped to steal from charity banks which have been set up to provide assistance to those less fortunate than ourselves, and this we cannot condone.”