“That is not acceptable behaviour," the judge said. “It is too serious for a non-custodial sentence.”

‘Case of open and deliberate thieving’: Two Cork men jailed for theft of power tools

Two men going around in a van and stealing power tools and wire worth up to €10,000 have both been jailed for their “casual plunder.”

An 18-month jail term was imposed on 21-year-old Martin Keenan of 4 Meelagh View, Mahon, Cork.

A two-year sentence was imposed on 24-year-old Martin McDonagh of 1 Inchera Close, Mahon.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “This is a case of open and deliberate thieving. They went around in a van in broad daylight and robbed whatever they could without any regard for who owned it.

“There is a certain amount of brazenness and an attempt to minimise it by reference to the lack of violence but it was wandering around purely for the purpose of thieving.

“That is not acceptable behaviour. It is too serious for a non-custodial sentence. People are entitled to have their property without having to protect it from casual plunder.”

Detective Garda Ian Breen said almost all of the €10,000 worth of stolen property recovered in the van was returned to its various owners.

The defendants both admitted stealing power tools and having stolen power tools and related property in his possession.

They were charged that on September 30 2019 they committed a theft at AR Brownlow in Carrigaline, County Cork, of four boxes of Metabo power tools valued €1,200 from a vehicle. They were also charged with stealing a Bosch industrial hoover and €200 worth of scrap metal from a vehicle at an industrial estate in Carrigaline. Finally, they were charged with having tools at Ballinure Avenue in Cork on the same date.

Det. Garda Breen said €10,000 worth of stolen property was discovered in the van.

“I was able to find out where all but one of the items had been stolen,” he said.

Keenan had previous convictions including seven for burglary, four for theft and four for handling stolen property and one for causing damage.

Niamh Stewart defence barrister said the defendant’s previous crimes tended to be at outhouses and sheds rather than residential properties and the stolen property consisted of scrap and tools.

McDonagh had substantial previous convictions including four for burglary, 15 for theft, four for handling stolen property and numerous for public order offences.

Emmet Boyle barrister said some of the defendant’s difficulties arose out of the ritual abuse of alcohol. He engaged in this behaviour to get money for alcohol.