Church collection box thief in court again, accused of stealing car

The man pleaded not guilty to the charges but made no request for bail at this stage

Just four days after admitting in court to having stolen the contents of a donations box from a church in Birkirkara and being handed a suspended sentence, 31-year old Ukrainian national, Ihor Cardaci has once again been accused of theft.

Cardaci had been sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for 3 years, earlier this week, after he admitted to stealing donations from the church of  St. Theresa in Birkirkara.

On Friday, Cardaci once again landed in the dock, this time accused of stealing a car, cash and tools, as well as attempting to steal another car.

He was further accused of causing damage to private property and a bus stop in St. Paul’s Bay, as well as drunk driving and driving without a licence or insurance. 

The accused, who told the court that he resided in Mosta, was also accused of leading an idle and vagabond life between June and July, breaching court imposed conditions and recidivism.

Inspector Christabelle Chetcuti, prosecuting, told Magistrate Noel Bartolo how the police had received a report of a burglary from a garage in Birkirkara at around 6:30 am yesterday morning. A vehicle and tools had been stolen, she said.

But the area was under CCTV surveillance, which showed the suspect stealing the car, after unsuccessful attempts to break into other vehicles parked nearby.

Cardaci was immediately recognised by the police, as he had been arraigned over a separate theft just days before.

Officers had gone to his place of residence he had specified in his bail and found the stolen vehicle, which appeared to have been involved in a collision after being stolen, and inside it, an air compressor which had been one of the items reported stolen.

Later police also found the car’s spoiler and number plate on a bus stop at St. Paul’s Bay.

The man pleaded not guilty to the charges. Lawyer Leontine Calleja told the court that the defence would be making no request for bail at this stage.