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Dane banned from Ireland for church theft

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Dane banned from Ireland for church theft
The Dane admitted to stealing the equivalent of 21,000 kroner from a church poor box. Photo: Steven Depolo/Flickr
15:39 CEST+02:00
A 61-year-old Danish tourist has been banned from Ireland after his self-admitted "bad idea" – stealing money from a church collection box.
According to the Irish Independent, 61-year-old Jens Christiansen of Gråsten was found in a parked park in a secluded forest in the northern part of Ireland. When a police officer approached the vehicle, Christiansen was found counting a large amount of coins. 
 
“When he was asked where he had come across the money, he said he had brought it into Ireland in his hand luggage which wasn't credible because there was so much of it. It had been bagged and marked,” Irish police detective Paul Lynch said in Carndonagh District Court, according to the Irish Independent. 
 
Lynch said that a search of Christiansen's car turned up a collection box that had been reported stolen from a church in Buncrana, along with three screwdrivers, a hacksaw and a torch. 
 
According to the Irish Independent, police found 958.77 euro and £1,434 (around 21,000 kroner in total) – all in coins. 
 
Confronted by the find, Christiansen then admitted to stealing the collection box. 
 
In court, Christiansen's response was short and to the point: “It was a bad idea. I am a tourist.”
 
Christiansen also told the judge that he is on disability at home in Denmark. Perhaps that led to the judge's decision to allow Christiansen to keep 355 euro of the stolen money in order to return to Denmark on his October 27th flight. 
 
The judge's leniency came with a catch however. Christiansen was given a three-month suspended jail sentence on the condition that the Dane not return to Ireland for a period of two years. 
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