3 remanded in custody after being caught in the act stealing from Swieqi villa

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Three men aged between 23 and 26 were remanded in custody after they were caught red handed stealing from a villa in Swieqi on Monday.

The trio was arraigned before Magistrate Rachel Montebello and pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.

The police arrested the men outside a private residence in Triq iz-Zejni, following a call from a woman who had been observing the group.

The police found two men inside a car with its engine running when they arrived onsite. The two tried to escape, however their car collided into a parked car, the Court heard. A police officer was slightly injured when he tried opening the vehicle’s door to stop the two from escaping. It was then that the third person emerged from the villa.

The three were arrested and arraigned on Tuesday, when they were charged with aggravated theft, attempted theft and refusing to obey legitimate police orders.

One man had allegedly gave false personal details to the police at first. It was later discovered that he is facing rape charges and had been on the run after breaching bail conditions.

The other two men were charged separately with threatening and injuring a police officer, driving without a valid licence and insurance cover. One of them was further charged with the unlawful possession of a flick knife.

The three accused who are Libyan nationals, reside in Gżira. A request for bail was turned down by the magistrate after the prosecution objected in view of the gravity of the charges and the fact that the alleged victims were still to testify.