By Liam Heylin
Four women who stole €4,777 worth of clothes from Penneys in Cork were so laden with bags that one of them asked for the help of a shop assistant to carry the stolen property out of the shop.
They claimed that, at the time, they believed they had vouchers to take the goods for free.
Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan said the property was stolen in one visit to the store on September 11, 2016.
The women repeatedly went up to staff at the cash registers and asked for more bags.
They were putting so many items into the bags that, on some of the occasions, they were asking for double bags for the goods.
The four women were arrested at a bus stop outside Penneys on St Patrick St, having failed to offer payment for any of the goods.
All of the stolen property was recovered by the store, said Insp O’Sullivan.
Two women involved in the escapade pleaded guilty to theft yesterday arising out of the incident.
Hlumisa Simhaya, aged 22, of 13 Maplewood, Mallow, Co Cork, and Nikita George, aged 24, of 18 Cushing Rd, Farranree, Cork, had no previous convictions of any kind.
Leo Murphy, defence solicitor, said Ms George was studying and Ms Simhaya was hoping to begin third-level studies.
Mr Murphy said: “It is a somewhat unusual case.”
He said that one of the parties — not before the court — had told them that there were vouchers to cover the goods being taken.
They believed that one of the other women, who kept approaching the cash registers, had been inquiring if their vouchers were covering everything they were taking.
Judge Olann Kelleher said of the two women before the court: “But they never approached anyone in the shop to cash in vouchers and thought they could take what they liked.”
Mr Murphy, solicitor, said the two women — as seen on CCTV — made no effort to conceal what they were doing.
“One of them even asked a member of staff to assist her in taking goods from the store,” said Mr Murphy.
Judge Kelleher put sentencing back to May 21 for probation reports on the two women because they had no previous convictions.