Robber identified and jailed after bedsheet he used to hide his face fell off

The man was a regular customer at the Naxxar shop he tried to rob

The man was identified after the bedsheet fell off his head as he was escaping
The man was identified after the bedsheet fell off his head as he was escaping

A 42-year-old man from Georgia has been jailed for 18 months after he was found guilty of stealing from a Convenience store in Naxxar.

Convenience Shop franchise employees had informed the owner when they found that the shop had been broken into and the till’s cash drawer stolen in its entirety.

Around €200 in cash and €250 in mobile topup cards were stolen, with some €500 worth of damage caused to the shop by the thief, the court was told.

The theft had taken place at around 4am.

CCTV footage passed on to the police showed the thief wearing a bedsheet over his head, which fell off as he was leaving, making his face visible and leading to his arrest. The sheet was later found at the scene.

Employees had immediately recognised the man as Teimuraz Datashvili, who was a regular customer there.

Datashivili, who has no fixed address, was eventually caught on a bus after police carried out a manhunt.

After being interrogated, the man was arraigned by police inspector Matthew Spagnol.

Although the Georgian denied carrying out the theft and had pleaded not guilty, Magistrate Joe Mifsud concluded that from the CCTV footage and the testimony of employees, “there was no doubt that the accused had entered The Convenience Shop and stolen from there.”

He had most likely gained entry by using a crowbar to force the door open, observed the magistrate.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud found Datashvili guilty of all the charges against him and jailed him for 18 months, also ordering him to repay the owner of The Convenience Store the sum of €1,046, representing the amounts stolen and the damage caused. Once he serves his sentence, he will be repatriated at the order of the courts.

The magistrate also requested the police investigate whether Datashvili and his wife Marianna Pekurashvili had given false testimony, in the light of the fact that she had testified that the man on the CCTV footage had knocked on their door, asking for a drink of water. Pekurashvili had previously told the police that she was legally separated from the accused.