Hotel room thief identified from viral footage denied bail

The court heard how the man had proven difficult to trace after he was identified and had in fact only revealed his address during Tuesday’s sitting   

The man was identified after CCTV footage of him went viral
The man was identified after CCTV footage of him went viral

A thief with a habit of targeting hotel rooms has been arraigned again, accused of more thefts.

Christopher Sammut, 47, of Lija, was charged before magistrate Gabriella Vella this afternoon, accused of stealing electronics and cash belonging to guests at two Gzira hotels, attempting to rob a betting shop and stealing two wallets. The thefts took place over a span of two years, between July 2016 and December 2018.

He was also accused of recidivism.

Sammut had been arrested after CCTV footage and stills of him circulated on social media, leading to his identification by the police.

Prosecuting police Inspectors Saviour Baldacchino and Colin Sheldon told the court that the accused had proved difficult to trace and had, in fact, only revealed his current address during his arraignment this afternoon. 

Lawyer Dustin Camilleri, legal aid to the accused, argued that the man was now traceable and would abide by strict bail conditions. He required medical treatment which would be more difficult to administer if the man was in prison, said the lawyer. He added that Sammut had insufficient means to pay a bail deposit.

But the court refused to grant Sammut bail, saying that it was not convinced that the man was sufficiently trustworthy. Although he gave the court an address, the court noted that for some reason this address was not given to the police and it was only during the examination in court that they had heard of it.

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