Thief dodges jail after stealing almost £1k from Blackpool charity shops

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A man has avoided a jail term after pleading guilty to burgling and stealing almost £1,000 from two of Blackpool’s charity shops.

Paul McGarry, 39, targeted the Cancer Research and British Heart Foundation shops in Blackpool in the space of just three days last year.

More than 500 was stolen from Cancer Research

More than 500 was stolen from Cancer Research

McGarry, of Clifford Road, Market Drayton, West Midlands, targeted the Cancer Research shop on Talbot Road on April 24 and stole £509.

He then struck at the British Heart Foundation in Church Street on April 26 and he got away with £446 from the shop.

It’s unknown if McGarry was visiting or living in the resort when he committed the crimes. He was later arrested.

He made his first Blackpool Magistrates’ Court appearance via video link on October 9 in which he was bailed to appear on October 29.

He also targeted the British Heart Foundation on Church Street

He also targeted the British Heart Foundation on Church Street

However, McGarry never appeared at the Blackpool court on the day and a warrant was later issued for his arrest.

After being arrested again, McGarry pleaded guilty to both counts of burglary at Kidderminster Magistrates Court on November 4.

He received a 26-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months for the Cancer Research burglary and a 16-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months for the British Heart Foundation burglary.

The court did not issue any fines to McGarry for both offences as he had no means to pay, according to a court representative.

The Gazette contacted both British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research for comment.