Thirteen individuals arrested for pickpocketing

The police claim to have evidence proving children were also used to facilitate the crime

The police have made 13 arrests over  pickpocketing around Malta
The police have made 13 arrests over pickpocketing around Malta

The police arrested five men and eight women this afternoon following a string of pickpocketing incidents.

The first 10 arrests were made in Sliema, where the police intercepted a group of Bulgarian nationals as they were leaving a hotel carrying several pieces of luggage.

According to the police’s communications unit, the six women and four men, accompanied by three young children, intended to leave Malta later that afternoon. Shortly after, the police arrested another two women and a man, this time accompanied by a boy.

The 13 were found to be carrying a large amount of cash, in several currencies, and mobile phones which were later found to have been reported stolen.

The police said they had evidence in hand, including CCTV camera footage, which showed the group had been involved in pickpocketing, and had used the children to facilitate this.

The police said they had contacted Appogg to find alternative accommodation for the minors, while those arrested were taken to Sliema police station for questioning. It is expected that they will be arraigned on Saturday.

The arrests come hot on the heels of another similar incident where, earlier this week, two Bulgarian nationals were sentenced to jail time for pickpocketing.

The police have in recent months increased their patrols and investigations related to pickpocketing and petty theft following a rise in the number of incidents reported, particularly in the Sliema and St Julians area, may of which have taken place on buses and bus stops. 

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