A MAN was chased through a field in Enniskillen by police in the early hours of last Saturday morning after being caught taking part in a burglary at a local business.
Toderas Ovidiu was jailed for six months at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday after being convicted of burglary and going equipped for theft.
The court heard that police received a call from a security firm at 3.30am on January 27th last after two males wearing balaclavas and in possession of an iron bar were observed on CCTV at the Lackaboy Industrial Estate and gained entry to Elite Electronics.
Police attended the scene and observed a Dublin-registered white van at the top end of the estate. They flashed their lights and indicated for the van to stop but it continued on before it stopped. The two males exited the van and ran off. Police shouted at them to stop and one police officer gave chase on foot while the other followed in the patrol car. The men ran off onto the Tempo Road and one of them, Ovidiu, jumped into a hedge and across a field. He was apprehended a short time after being found crouched down behind a large bin. The second male was not located.
A search of the white van uncovered a pair of gloves, crowbar and bolt cutters. A metal box valued at between £500-£1,000 was also found which had been stolen from Elite Electronics.
Ovidiu (28), a Romanian man from Blue Waters, Churchill in Co Wicklow was arrested and made full admissions to police, telling them that he had travelled from his home to Fermanagh with the other male to deliver furniture to another man.
After delivering a bed, kitchen units and other home items, Ovidiu and his accomplice went to the industrial estate, climbed over a fence and entered the business premises where he was told to take the metal box. Ovidiu said he had ran away from police because he was afraid, adding that he had not been under any duress to commit the burglary but had done it “of his own free will.”
Defence solicitor Gary Black said his client’s first knowledge of the intended action was when the pair had arrived at the industrial estate.
“He fully accepts that he had the opportunity to walk away from the incident but he foolishly went along with the enterprise,” Mr Black added.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant had been “caught virtually red-handed”.
“This appears to have all the hallmarks of a sophisticated burglary as they were in possession of bolt-cutters, gloves, were wearing balaclavas and given the high value of the item in question,” the judge added.
Ovidiu was sentenced to six months imprisonment but will appear in court again on February 12th pending an appeal. A bail application was refused on the grounds that Ovidiu posed a flight risk given his home address in the Republic and that there was also a risk of further offences.