Two men in court as part of ‘creeper burglary’ investigation

A man from Strabane accused of being linked to creeper burglaries in the north-west has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at Donegal District Court.

A second man was remanded in custody to stand trial at Donegal Circuit Court in December.

The men appeared in court following a year-long investigation by gardai targetting suspects who broke into a series of homes while owners were sleeping at night.

Judge Kevin Kilrane was told how two cars were taken in Manorhamilton after Paul Lomas drove others to houses where the keys were stolen. The gang then drove away in the three cars to Lifford, where the stolen vehicles were parked.

27 year old Lomas, with an address in Ballycoleman Estate, Strabane, then drove the other people back to a house where they lived in Drumgorman, Mountcharles..

The court heard that Lomas, who had previous convictions, escaped from Loughan House open prison in January 2008. He was back in custody since his arrest on April 29 this year.

Lomas was given three consecutive six-month sentences for trespass and theft at Manorhamilton, and for possession of stolen property and fraudulently using an incorrect car registration plate in Mountcharles.

In a separate hearing at the same court Eddie Crerand, 29, with an address at Govan Court, Ballybofey,  was remanded in custody for Circuit Court trial on December 13th on several counts of possession of stolen property worth tens of thousands of euro at Maheranaul, Isle of Doagh, Clonmany and at Mountcharles.