No bail for bicycle thief who tormented Gżira-Msida area

Police charge 51-year-old bicycle thief after tracking down a stolen bike that was being sold on Facebook Marketplace

Stolen bicycles: Police traced one of the stolen bicycles that was being sold on Facebook (Photo: Police)
Stolen bicycles: Police traced one of the stolen bicycles that was being sold on Facebook (Photo: Police)

A 51-year-old man with a drug dependency problem has been charged with the theft of bicycles in the Gżira and Msida area.

David Yates from Gżira was denied bail when appearing in front of Magistrate Rachel Montebello on Wednesday. He was accused of theft, handling stolen goods, breaching previous bail conditions and infringing a suspended sentence.

Inspector Jonathan Ransley explained to the court that the police had been investigating a number of bicycle thefts over several months.

The police zeroed in on Yates after spotting one of the stolen bikes on Facebook Marketplace. The sale was traced back to Yates, who was then arrested.

In court on Wednesday, the accused was told that the charges were serious and carried prison sentences.

“I was sick, I was sick,” Yates, who has drug dependency problems, insisted in court. His lawyer, Daniel Attard, explained that the man had not signed at the police station because he was suffering from drug withdrawal symptoms.

Bail was requested.

Inspector Ransley objected as the man was known to the police for his acute heroin abuse. People would regularly be found taking drugs at his home, said the inspector, at which point the accused shouted “It’s not true, you never came to my house!”

The prosecution argued that Yates would commit further offences whilst on bail, describing the man as untrustworthy.

The court after seeing the relevant dispositions of the Criminal Code, the man’s statement and his criminal record, said it was not satisfied that he would offer satisfactory guarantees that he would obey his bail conditions. Bail was denied.

In the light of the submissions, the court recommended that the accused be given the attention and help required to address his drug dependency.