Man who admitted to Sliema car thefts remanded in custody

Accused has serious drug and alcohol problem

A man battling a serious drug and alcohol problem was remanded in custody after he admitted he broke into six parked cars in Sliema before he was arrested after a brief police chase.

London-born Jake Sebastian Morris, 41, residing in Sliema had been spotted acting rather suspiciously in the vicinity of Howard Street close towards 4.30am.

A quick response by district and Rapid Intervention Unit Officers resulted in the arrest of the suspect who was found to have in his possession certain items stolen from the cars.

Investigators observed that several cars were found to have been forced open and at least one had a smashed window.

Although the suspect had taken to his heels, he was caught soon after and arrested.

During Wednesday’s arraignment he admitted to willfully damaging various vehicles, stealing from six of them, being drunk in public, refusing to give his particulars to a police officer, and insulting or threatening two constables.

The man, further charged as a relapser, had a serious drug and alcohol problem which had apparently deteriorated over the past weeks, ever since he decided to substitute medication with self-prescribed drugs, prosecuting Inspector Mark Mercieca informed the court.

The accused had sent “soft threats” to the probation officer assigned to watch over him and was known to keep bad company, Inspector Mercieca continued.

Defence lawyer Francine Abela, legal aid counsel to the accused, suggested that the court order a full treatment programme to address her client’s alcohol and drug problems, besides possible underlying psychological issues.

In the light of the accused’s admission, magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech put off the case for judgment later this month. The accused was remanded in custody.