Macedonian tourists find man breaking into their rental car, restrain him until police arrive
Two Macedonian men who caught a man breaking into their rental car pinned him down until the police arrived and made an arrest, a court heard yesterday.
David Yates, 46, who was born in the UK but lives in Gzira, was charged with stealing a photo camera from inside the car, damaging the rental Hyundai and relapsing.
One of the Macedonian men told Magistrate Antonio Micallef Trigona he was eating breakfast with his friend at the St Julian’s hostel they had checked in to and heard a sound of breaking glass. He did not think much of it but needed to fetch some medicine from the car anyway. The vehicle was parked on the opposite side of the road, some metres down.
“I went out and I saw the accused – half his body was inside the car.” The witness said a rear window was broken and the alleged thief had rummaged through his belongings, which included a camera worth more than €1,000, a musical instrument a bagful of clothes and some personal belongings. The camera was lying on the ground near the car.
“I ran up and grabbed him and I called for someone to get the police.”
The man said all his items had been retrieved and that he and his friend had paid the rental company €350 for the damaged window.
The second man said he rushed out of the hostel’s dining area when he heard his friend shouting for help. “We held him down until the police arrived.”
Legal Aid lawyer Yanika Bugeja requested bail. Inspector Matthew Spagnol, prosecuted, said there was no fear that the accused would tamper with evidence but noted that Mr Yates had been in and out of court several times over the years, always on theft charges.
The lawyer said the accused was innocent until proven guilty and said bail should not be denied on the basis of his criminal record.
The magistrate granted bail against a personal guarantee of €5,000, warning the man that these could be converted into jail time at €35 per day if any condition was breached. Mr Yates was also ordered to sign the bail book three times a week and not to leave home between 6pm and 9am.