583 mobiles reported stolen in last quarter of 2016

Data tabled in government shows that 488 persons were arraigned in court on theft charges in 2016 • All cases of theft from churches reported last year remain unsolved

84 persons were charged with theft of mobile phones from September to December 2016
84 persons were charged with theft of mobile phones from September to December 2016

583 mobile phones were reported stolen between September and December 2016, resulting in 84 persons being arraigned in court on theft charges, Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said on Monday.

Abela, who was replying in Parliament to questions put to him by Labour MP Anthony Agius Decelis, said that the number of mobile phones that were retrieved following police investigations could not be ascertained as such data was not available.

In response to a separate question, Abela said that 488 persons had been charged with theft in 2016; 381 men and 107 women.

Of the men charged, 271 were Maltese while 110 were foreigners. In the case of the women, 74 were Maltese and 33 foreigners.

“While some cases are still pending, in the cases that were decided the accused received prison sentences, suspended sentences, probation, combination orders and fines, while others were freed or freed conditionally,” Abela said.

Data tabled in parliament showed that 1,232 were charged with public disorder in 2016. 816 were men, of whom 692 were Maltese and 124 were foreigners.

Of the 416 women arraigned on the charges, 382 were Maltese while the remaining 34 were foreigners.

Abela also reported that 27 reports of theft from churches were filed last year, of which 9 involved property belonging in the church while 18 cases were for theft of objects belonging to visitors or church-goers.

Church objects inluded donated boxes, tools and religious items like crucifixes while the personal items reported stolen included mobile phones, handbags and wallets or purses.

None of the cases had been solved to date, Abela said.