Man given suspended jail sentence for €2,500 Evolve clothing robbery

February 17, 2021

A man who was part of a five-man gang who used a sophisticated device to override a clothing store’s credit card machine has been given a four-month suspended jail sentence.

The gang stole more than €2,500 over the course of two days from Evolve Menswear in Letterkenny, Co Donegal in July, 2018.

CCTV footage showed the men picking a range of items from around the store including jeans, shirts and underwear.

They then handed all the clothing to another man who paid for the clothing haul using a credit card.

However, Detective Garda John Murphy told a previous court how the man used a device to over-ride the normal credit card system.

Instead of requiring a pin number for the card, the card reader allowed the man to simply sign for the goods.

Some of the gang returned the following day and signed for further items or clothing but staff became suspicious.

It was soon realised the shop had been defrauded and a full-scale search for the men was launched.

Garda information led officers to Creeslough but the men had already fled but following further CCTV footage they were apprehended in Letterkenny.

The court was told the men had arrived up from Dublin and had spent two days in Donegal.

Although the vast majority of the clothing was recovered the shop was still at a loss of more than €2,550 as the tags and labels had been taken off them.

A number of other credit cards were also seized when the gang were apprehended.

Some of the clothing which had the tags removed had since been donated to the local St Vincent De Paul charity shop.

Four of the gang have already been before the courts and Alvis Zaharevics, a 25-year-old father of one from Mulhuddart in Dublin also admitted his part in the scam.

His solicitor Patsy Gallagher said that his client had not come to the attention of Gardai since this incident.

Judge Paul Kelly sentenced Zaharevics to four months in jail but suspended the term for two years on the agreement he entered a bind to keep the peace.

The court was told that he has also paid €500 compensation to the owners of Evolve.