A man with a criminal record that was quickly becoming "a booklet" was remanded in custody after being caught red handed burgling a villa in St Paul's Bay.

Police inspector Godwin Agius told the court that the police received a call at around 11.30pm on Thursday about a man acting suspiciously outside a villa.

By the time the police got there, the man had broken into the property and he was arrested on his way out with his pockets full of jewellery.

Patrick Cassar, 39, of Qawra, was arrested immediately. Further investigations revealed that he had also been involved in an attempted burglary in the vicinity in recent weeks.

The man, who said he worked as a construction worker, did not answer when asked if he had a drug addiction problem but he was warned by the court of taking drugs while working as this could have serious consequences on him and people passing by.

The police opposed a request for bail since there were witnesses who still had to testify.

"He created this problem himself and there are victims who need to be protected too," the inspector said.

He added that the man was last year given a three-year conditional discharge "which he chose to ignore".

Magistrate Joe Mifsud denied the request for bail and sent him to jail for "a weekend break".