Man jailed for drilling into, stealing from jewellery shop
A Wicklow man who drilled his way into a jewellery and antique shop before stealing almost €14,000 worth of goods has been sentenced to three years, with nearly half of the jail term suspended.
Graham Potts (26), Woodbrook Glen, Bray, a father of two, was suspected after the caretaker in his girlfriend’s apartment complex in Cabinteely, Co Dublin, spotted the stolen jewellery hidden in a rucksack in the car park of the building.
Potts’s DNA was found on a pair of rubber gloves and hand tools left with the bag. The caretaker was also able to provide gardaí with CCTV footage showing Potts leaving the complex on the night of the burglary and returning with the rucksack before going into the car park.
Garda Timothy McAuliffe told Noel Devitt, prosecuting, that DNA from another set of gloves and tools left in the debris in the shop also linked Potts to the crime. He was also spotted on CCTV footage from shops near to the jewellery store.
Garda McAuliffe said he arrived at the Treasure Chest at 2.30am after the intruder alarm went off. The owner was already there and he showed gardaí that the burglar had gained access by coming through a courtyard behind the building and drilling a hole through the wall of the shop.
Potts pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to burglary of the Treasure Chest in Blackrock, Co Dublin, on August 28th, 2011. His 12 previous convictions included drug, traffic and public order offences.
Lily Buckley, defending, said her client left the family home when he was 15 years old and had “made his own way in the world”. She said he was struggling to make ends meet at the time of the burglary and had been dabbling in drugs.
“He took a short cut to get himself out of the situation he found himself in,” Ms Buckley added, before she asked Judge Nolan to accept that Potts was “not a lost cause”.
Judge Martin Nolan said that “he was under financial pressure but so are a lot of people”, before suspending all but 15 months of the three-year term.