Addict arraigned for breaking into 24 cars in one day

Man who had been addicted to drugs for 22 years, admitted all charges

A 35 year-old man who has been a drug addict since the age of 13 has been remanded in custody after he pleaded guilty to 45 charges, including 24 counts of breaking into vehicles and 11 counts of theft from vehicles. All the crimes took place on the same day.

Magistrate Aaron Bugeja heard how Christopher Borg from Siggiewi had, on the 8th December, broken into 24 parked cars in Triq l-Iljun, Qormi, the Qormi Park and Ride and the Lidl Supermarket car park in Qormi, stealing a small amount of cash from each as well as a fire extinguisher, CDs, a remote control, a bracelet, a camera and a stereo from the vehicles.

He was also charged with causing voluntary damage to the cars and with being a relapser.

The accused, hands clasped and expressionless, gazed, unblinking into the middle distance as Inspector Carlos Cordina exhibited CCTV footage and photographs of the thefts which were taken by a nearby shop owner. Also exhibited were bloodstained items of clothing belonging to the accused, who was found to have many superficial cuts and scratches on his hands from breaking the car windows in order to gain access.

Lawyer Christopher Chircop, appearing for the accused, explained that the accused had been a drug user since his teens and had made an apology to the victims. He argued that society had failed the accused, who was the sole carer for his elderly mother and asked that this be taken into account in sentencing.

The lawyer also pointed out to the court that the amount of cash stolen was minimal – around €70 - and that after being arrested, the accused had cooperated fully with the police, a fact corroborated by the prosecution. He had, in fact, taken the police to the scenes and showed them exactly how he had perpetrated the thefts.

Magistrate Aaron Bugeja, ordered Borg be remanded in custody pending the delivery of his sentence, which is expected to take place this Friday.