A Tragic Case, of Desperation, O Connor worked for Dunnes for 22 years, since he was 18 years old, all gone now, and all paid Back.

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Night shift worker stole groceries while he had ‘run of the store’

• 3h ago


Asupermarket worker loaded his car up with groceries in a series of thefts while he had the “run of the store” during early shifts.

Darren O’Connor (40) had worked at Dunnes Stores for 22 years when he was caught stealing after the shop installed a new CCTV system during a refurbishment.

Dublin District Court heard he was in a “dire financial situation” trying to pay medical expenses for his sick mother and became “desperate”.

Judge Bryan Smyth said the crimes were a “serious breach of trust” but applied the Probation Act, leaving Mr O’Connor without convictions.

Mr O’Connor, of Croftwood Drive, Ballyfermot, pleaded guilty.

Giving evidence of thefts totalling several hundred euro last December and January, Garda Seamus Donoghue said Mr O’Connor started work at the Henry Street shop at 3.30am and would be alone for an hour and a half.

“He hid the items around the shop and later went back and collected them and put them into his own car at the back of the store,” Gda Donoghue said.

Mr O’Connor took €133 worth of groceries during one “tour of duty”, with goods valued at €33 and €11 taken on other dates.

Mr O’Connor also stole a tip jar with €13 in it. On January 13, security who had earlier identified him on CCTV, stopped him as he put €85 worth of stolen groceries into the boot of his car.

He was taken inside and held his hands up. His employers were “very surprised when they learned what was going on”. He was later dismissed.

It was believed there were other potential thefts while he was working there but the accused had paid a total of €5,250 compensation to the store and their investigation was now closed.

Mr O’Connor had no previous convictions.

His defence said he was the sole breadwinner in his family, his mother had medical expenses and “desperate times call for desperate measures”.

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