A pair of criminals who raided eight businesses in Dundee and Angus between them have been jailed.
Paul Coombs, 26, and Kieran McAnearney, 29, admitted their involvement in a spree of thefts just before Christmas 2020.
From December 10 to 13, businesses in Dundee, Kirriemuir, Forfar and Carnoustie were raided.
Between them, the pair made off with tills and cash boxes, as well as more than £2,000.
The Dundee dads caused more than £1,000 worth of damage smashing their way into shops.
They were caught when their getaway Skoda Octavia was found by police, parked at Coombs’ home address.
Four nights of carnage
The first business targeted was the 3 Stars Chinese takeaway on Strathmartine Road in Dundee.
Crack addict McAnearney stole a till and £130 from the shop in the early hours of the morning on December 10.
Fiscal depute Gavin Burton told Forfar Sheriff Court the owners locked up at around 1am but when they returned at 3pm to open, they found the front window broken and the till missing.
The Skoda was captured on CCTV.
McAnearney’s second target was Magic Barbers 2 on Carnoustie High Street, the following night.
He took the till, £300 and an ornament.
Security footage from just before 5am showed three males fleeing in the same Skoda.
Coombs’ first strike came under cover of darkness on December 12, when he forced his way into Bloom florists on Strathmartine Road.
Staff were left “heartbroken” when he made off with their takings.
A neighbour heard loud banging at 1am and saw three males rushing from the shop towards the Skoda.
Coombs was carrying the till, which contained £1,020.
The next business to be hit was the Joshua Plumtree garden shop in Kirriemuir, on December 13.
McAnearney was seen on CCTV at around 3.40am, having caused £150 worth of damage forcing his way in to steal the till and £100.
The same morning, he broke into New Image Turkish Barbers on Dundee’s Nethergate, escaping with £550 and equipment, including a shaver.
The door had been damaged and CCTV showed two males exiting the Skoda just after 5am and forcibly entering the shop.
Coombs continued the crime spree that morning, when he was back on Strathmartine Road, targeting Marini’s fish and chip shop.
He was seen leaving the Skoda at 4.40am with two other men and forcing his way in.
He stole two tills with hundreds of pounds in them from the chippie and caused around £1,000 of damage.
Frankie’s Fish Shack on Harefield Road was next on his list but he failed to crowbar his way inside.
His final target was Car Requirements on Montrose Road in Forfar.
He broke into the car parts store on December 13, making off with £100 of petty cash.
The Skoda was again caught on camera and spotted by a witness, who heard loud banging from the store.
Police seized the Skoda, parked outside Coombs’ home, on December 14.
The stolen barbershop items were still inside.
Both men were on bail at the time.
McAnearney admitted breaking into and stealing from the Chinese takeaway, garden store and both barbers.
Coombs pled guilty to breaking into and stealing from the florist, car parts store and Marinis and trying to break into Frankie’s Fish Shack.
Both men’s pleas were on the basis they were acting with others.
Solicitor Doug McConnell, appearing for Coombs, said: “He apologises.
“There were a number of people involved in this. They both have to hang their heads.
“At the time of the offence, there was a drug abuse problem.
“Although it’s no excuse, that’s simply the case.”
McAnearney’s solicitor John Boyle said three of his client’s friends had died in a month and he had turned to crack cocaine.
He said: “He describes a situation to me that in the week running up to this offence, he was using drugs very heavily.
“I’m pleased to say he’s no longer using drugs.”
Sheriff Krista Johnston told the thieves they caused harm, damage and disruption to the businesses.
She said: “You clearly involved yourselves in a course of conduct that was planned and targeted to commercial premises.”
Dad-of-one Coombs, of North George Street in Dundee, had already spent 315 days on remand.
He was sentenced to 200 days in jail, plus 53 days of an unexpired sentence.
McAnearney, of Ladywell Avenue, was sentenced to 525 days in prison, having spent two weeks remanded.
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