[WATCH] Viral video of man pursuing 'thief' pays off

Video showing alleged thief being pursued by bystander to be presented as crucial evidence in court

The video, which shows the suspected thief, will be crucial evidence in the criminal proceedings against the alleged offender
The video, which shows the suspected thief, will be crucial evidence in the criminal proceedings against the alleged offender

A viral video of a man being pursued by a bystander after allegedly stealing money from a parked car in Tal-Virtu’ is expected to be crucial evidence in the case against him.

The suspected thief was chased down the street on Sunday in broad daylight by a resident who filmed the hooded man on a mobile phone as he walked to a waiting getaway car.

This morning Valletta resident Patrick Mangion, 46, was remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to aggravated theft.

Mangion, wearing a hoodie, had been filmed walking briskly down the Rabat street, swearing at the person holding the mobile phone who repeatedly called him “thief.” After unsuccessfully attempting to escape his pursuer on foot, Mangion was fled in a getaway car driven by a third party.

Mangion was arrested after the footage went viral on social media. He later released a detailed statement about the events of that Sunday morning to the police.

The man was arraigned in court today and denied charges of having stolen some €20 in cash from a parked car, uttered obscene words in public, insulted the man who had chased him after the alleged theft, as well as breached two earlier bail decrees.

Defence lawyer Alfred Abela requested bail, highlighting that that the man had given himself up to the police of his own accord. He alleged that Mangion had been carrying out the instructions of third parties.

Abela argued that the evidence was already preserved in the footage and that the man could be prohibited from approaching witnesses or visiting Rabat.

Inspector Robert Vella, prosecuting, retorted that there were civilian witnesses who were yet to testify. Moreover, the accused was untrustworthy and the nature of the alleged crime was a serious one.

Presiding Magistrate Josette Demicoli turned down the man’s bail request and ordered that he be remanded in custody.

Inspectors Robert Vella and Stacy Attard prosecuted.

Lawyers Alfred Abela, Arthur Azzopardi and Rene Darmanin are defence counsel to Mangion.

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