Mace­do­nian tourists find man break­ing into their rental car, re­strain him un­til po­lice ar­rive

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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