Cat-napping burglar left his passport at the crime scene, court told

Police catch alleged burglar napping in another person's car after he left his passport at the scene of the burglary

A risible mistake by an alleged burglar led to him being arrested, charged and remanded in custody, a court has heard today.

Abdeladeim M.B. Al Shuhumi, a 41-year-old homeless man from Libya, was arraigned before Magistrate Abigail Critien on theft and public drunkenness charges on Friday.

Inspector Eman Hayman accused Al Shuhumi of having stolen a woman’s mobile phone and designer watch from a language school’s beach club in St. George’s Bay, St. Julians at around 8:30am on 12 November. Al Shuhumi was also charged with having been drunk and unable to take care of himself in a public place.

From the witness stand, the inspector expanded on what had led to the man’s arrest.

Yesterday morning, Shuhumi had been found while passed-out drunk inside a parked car that did not belong to him. Officers recognised the man as having been involved in a burglary on November 12.

CCTV footage of the break-in at the beach club had helped the police trace the suspect, but the defendant also left his passport at the scene of the crime.

“I have no questions,” replied defence lawyer Martin Fenech, assisting the defendant as legal aid counsel.

Shuhuni, who resides at a refugee camp in Hal Far, told the court that he worked as a “scuba diver”.  He pleaded not guilty to the charges. “I didn’t steal anything. She robbed me, in truth.”

Fenech requested that the man be granted bail in view of his clean criminal record.

Prosecutor Giuliana Magro Conti objected to him being released, explaining to the court that the man had been found asleep in another person’s car and before that had been sleeping in the victim’s apartment. “He has no fixed address and this is the first time we’re hearing him claim to be a scuba diver.” He will have food and a place to sleep in preventive custody, added the prosecutor.

Inspector Hayman added that there was also a risk of tampering with evidence, pointing out that the victim had found him inside her apartment.

Bail was denied on the grounds that the man had no fixed address and there was a risk of tampering with evidence.

Inspector Eman Hayman prosecuted, assisted by lawyer Giuliana Magro Conti from the Office of the Attorney General.