The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

Man gets 18 months in jail for theft from shop

Tuesday, 13 August 2019, 14:00 Last update: about 8 days ago

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.

Employees of The Convenience Store franchise had informed the owner when they found 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 and around €500 worth of damage was caused to the shop by the thief, the court was told.

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The theft had taken place at around 4:00am, observed the court.

CCTV footage passed on to the police showed the thief wearing a bedsheet over his head, but as he was leaving the shop, this sheet fell off and the accused’s face was therefore seen. 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 launched a manhunt for the thief.

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

Although the Georgian accused 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 Store and stolen from the shop.” 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 €1046.32, representing the amounts stolen and the damages 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.

 

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