Elderly woman catches her own purse thief

An elderly woman who had her purse snatched at church chased the thieves and managed to catch one of them, landing him one year in prison

An elderly woman who was robbed of her purse while attending a church service chased the two thieves, managing to catch one of them.

The incident happened yesterday evening during the 6.30pm mass service at St Helen’s basilica in Birkirkara.

Police sources said that two men, under the assumption that the woman was distracted, approached her and snatched her purse. 

However, the woman chased them down and managed to catch 31-year-old Fabian Sciriha on the church parvis. His accomplice got away with her purse and the €70 in it.

After calling her son to assist her, the woman took the thief to the police station herself where she filed a report.

Sciriha, also accused of relapsing, filed a guilty plea in court today and was jailed for a year.

Magistrate Charmaine Galea urged the defendant to use his incarceration period to reform himself. She also recommended that the director of prison send Sciriha to the forensic section at Mount Carmel Hospital, in order to receive the required treatment.

Lawyer Noel Bartolo was legal aid while police inspector Roderick Spiteri prosecuted.