Clothes thieves jailed
Four Romanian thieves who were caught red-handed and trapped in a Sliema shop by the owner were jailed for three years for stealing thousands of euros worth of clothing.
Ilie Nicolae, 28, Niculae Dragos, 22, Dumitru Marius, 26, and Christian Panaitescu, 25, pleaded guilty to 14 counts of theft from a string of shops in Sliema and St Julians, The Point shopping centre and Bay Street shopping complex over the past month.
When they appeared before Magistrate Edwina Grima yesterday, the four men hung their heads down and murmured their particulars and their guilty pleas to the interpreter. One of them burst into tears and started sobbing.
Marian Panaitescu, 26, of Romania, pleaded guilty to handling stolen items and was given a three-year conditional discharge.
A sixth Romanian – 27-year-old Niculae Florica – denied all charges of theft brought against him and was remanded in preventive custody.
Six men were arrested on Friday evening after the owner of Diesel and Levi’s, Leonard Cassar, recognised them from closed circuit camera footage taken when intruders stole about €1,000 worth of clothing two weeks ago.
When the police searched the Paceville and Msida apartments the suspects shared, they found clothes, gadgets and jewellery worth thousands of euros.
Police Inspector Saviour Baldacchino prosecuted.
Lawyer Yana Micallef Stafrace appeared for the accused as legal aid.