Five people from Umm al-Fahm and Jisr al-Zarqa are slated to be indicted Thursday in the Nazareth Magistrate's Court on 15 different criminal counts, including the theft of sheep in northern Israel.
On October 24, in a continuation of agricultural crime incidents in Israel and the West Bank, three of the suspects stole 17 sheep in Jatt, an Arab-Israeli municipality ten kilometers east of Hadera.
After procuring the sheep, the suspects somehow succeeded in fitting the stolen animals into their private car.
Border Police were deployed on the scene and a vehicle chase ensued, leading to the arrest of the three suspected sheep thieves. Two other people were arrested in Umm al-Fahm as they awaited the arrival of the stolen sheep.
The sheep, who were distressed from being compressed into the car, were taken to safety.
During the investigation, police connected the sheep thieves to an earlier theft of seven cattle on October 2 from Reina, another Arab village in northern Israel.
On October 21, in a separate incident of agricultural crime, Arab residents of the West Bank village of Beit Awwa were found in possession of 24 tons of grapes and seven tons of tomatoes stolen from Moshav Shekef in the Lachish region, near the West Bank security barrier. 67 Palestinians, including 40 minors, were arrested in what police deemed one of the largest agricultural heists in decades.
Daniel K. Eisenbud contributed to this report.