Man charged with foiled armed hold up

A man involved in a botched hold up has been charged with attempted aggravated theft and firing a weapon in an inhabited area

A man who carried out an armed hold up was resisted by the shopkeeper and bystanders
A man who carried out an armed hold up was resisted by the shopkeeper and bystanders

Marcus John Calleja, 46, of Balzan was charged with carrying out a hold up in Zabbar in which shots were fired.

The unsuccessful hold up of a bar in Zabbar's main street took place on Tuesday at 8.10pm, the police said.

An armed and hooded man entered the shop and demanded money from the owner, who resisted with the assistance of bystanders. It was at this point that shots were fired, but luckily no one was injured.

The police rapid intervention unit were quickly on site and arrested Calleja.

Before magistrate Doreen Clarke, he was charged with attempted aggravated theft, holding persons against their will, possession of a firearm during the commission of the offence and discharging the firearm in an inhabited area.

He was also accused of being a recidivist.

Calleja, who told the court he worked as a welder, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Bail was not requested.

The court was asked to order the man be treated for drug addiction. The request was upheld.

Inspectors Fabian Fleri, Lydon Zammit and Joanna Piscopo prosecuted.

Lawyer Raisa Colombo was legal aid to the accused.

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