Serial Limerick shoplifter is on first name terms with security guards 

David Hurley


David Hurley

Adam Hayes has pleaded guilty to nine theft offences. He will be sentenced in June

Adam Hayes has pleaded guilty to nine theft offences. He will be sentenced in June

A SERIAL offender who has admitted multiple theft charges is so prolific he is on first name terms with security guards at stores across Limerick city.

Adam Hayes, 32, of Lee Estate, Island Road has pleaded guilty to nine separate theft charges – relating to offences which occurred over a short period last year.

During a sentencing hearing, Garda Enda Clifford said handbags worth a total of €234.50 were stolen from Allens, William Street, on four separate occasions in January and February as well as cosmetics worth €330 from the Body Shop, O’Connell Street, on three separate dates.

The other offences, which Mr Hayes has admitted, relate to the theft of pizza worth €42 from Garvey’s SuperValu, Grove Island, and beauty products worth €42.96 from Charlotte Quay pharmacy.

Some of the property was recovered as he was following or apprehended by security staff. 

Garda Clifford said Mr Hayes, who has a large number of previous convictions, has been banned from the city centre in the past given the torment he has caused for retailers.

He said most of the theft incidents were captured on CCTV and that in each case security personnel were able to identify Mr Hayes as he was known to them.

Liam Carroll BL, said his client is a chronic heroin addict and that all of his offending is linked to his addiction.

He said he is doing well in prison and that it has dawned on Mr Hayes that he has to stop taking drugs and stealing.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said the defendant has an appalling record and is a “scourge of many a shopkeeper in the city centre”.

He noted the evidence that he was “readily identified” after committing each of the offences and that he is on first name terms with most security staff.

“If he comes in to a store, something is going to walk,” he said adding that traders are entitled to be protected from people such as Adam Hayes.

The judge accepted the defendant is doing well in prison but noted the contents of a probation report which suggests his capacity to cope following his release is uncertain.

“He has spent a considerable period of his adult life in custody and I have to balance matters,” he said as he adjourned the matter to June for sentence.