A man was remanded in custody, pending judgment, after admitting to having formed part of a gang of thieves targeting numerous cars and tools in various localities, before their operation was busted by the police.

Clive Agius, a 33-year old Floriana resident who was out on bail pending drug-related proceedings, was arrested and marched to court where he admitted to the theft of six vehicles, a vending machine as well as three separate instances of theft of tools from vehicles.

The man was further charged with voluntary damage to third party property, having received stolen goods and also to having conspired to commit said thefts. He also admitted to having willfully damaged another vending machine in Ta’ Xbiex, clocking up over €2,500 in damages on that sole occasion.

Moreover, he was charged with having breached bail conditions imposed upon him in March.

The crimes were committed over a span of 10 days, with the first theft being registered on August 22 at Birkirkara and others following in Ħamrun, Msida and Birżebbuġa.

The court, presided over by duty magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, heard how the accused had fully co-operated with the police and had registered an early guilty plea.

When making submissions on punishment, legal aid counsel Ismael Psaila pointed out that most of the stolen items had been returned to their lawful owners, noting further that his client had not operated single-handedly.

Moreover, the accused needed help to overcome his drug addiction, the court was told.

The man was remanded in custody pending the delivery of judgment.

Inspectors Arthur Mercieca and Christina Delia prosecuted.