Two men who are accused of stealing TVs and vacuum cleaners from stores across Northern Ireland to a value over £3,000 will face Crown Court proceedings in the New Year.
The pair appeared at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday for the purposes of a preliminary enquiry (PE), the legal process during which a case is referred to the higher court.
Aidan Seamus McKee, 34, of Glasvey Close in Dunmurry, and Cillian Morgan, 34, of Laganville Park in Lisburn, are both charged with six counts of theft and one of handling stolen goods.
Meanwhile, McKee faces one further allegation of theft.
As the charges were read, it was heard that on April 24 both defendants are alleged to have dishonestly undertook or assisted in the retention, removal, disposal or realisation of certain stolen goods, namely a TV, by or for the benefit of another.
On April 5, McKee is accused of stealing two vacuum cleaners to the total value of £298 belonging to Tesco, Crumlin.
The following day, Morgan is alleged to have stolen two vacuum cleaners valued of £278 from the same store.
Morgan is accused of then stealing a TV valued at £499 from Tesco in Ballymena on April 7.
McKee is alleged to have followed this by stealing another television from Asda in Portadown valued at £379.
On April 12, both defendants are accused of stealing three vacuum cleaners to the value of £447 from B&M, Bangor, and three TVs valued at £447 from Asda, Dundonald.
McKee is accused of returning to Asda in Portadown on April 17, making off with two TVs valued at £758.
Finally on April 24, both men are alleged to have stolen two vacuum cleaners to the value of £538 from Tesco, Carrickfergus, and a TV valued at £179 from Tesco in Lurgan.
Appearing via videolink from their solicitors’ offices, the defendants made no objection to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.
Prosecution submitted that based on the papers before the court there was a prima facie case to answer.
Defence counsel made no contrary submissions.
District Judge Bernie Kelly, satisfied there was a prima facie case to answer, released McKee and Morgan on continuing bail to appear at Craigavon Crown Court on January 18.