Arms stolen from police facility

Police deputy chief orders probe into Monday night break-in, robbery in North.

March 10, 2010 03:30
1 minute read.
Some of the stolen firearms retreived.

stolen guns. (photo credit: Israel Police)

Police were reeling on Tuesday from an embarrassing break-in targeting a police facility in the North, in which a number of weapons were stolen overnight Monday by unidentified thieves.

A few details of the incident were cleared for publication on Tuesday after the Acre Magistrate’s Court partially lifted a comprehensive media ban on the break-in.

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The Galilee District Police’s Central Unit has been tasked with tracking down the culprits, a police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.

In recent months, the North has suffered from ongoing firearms offenses, and weapons have frequently been used to settle disputes among clans and crime organizations in the area.

However, it remains unclear whether the arms taken on Monday were stolen with the intention of selling them to criminal elements, and no arrests had been made in connection with the theft by Tuesday.

The incident represents the largest theft of weapons from a police station in recent years. In 2009, two M-16 rifles went missing from a Rahat police station, and are believed to have been stolen.

On Tuesday, Deputy Police Inspector-General Cmdr. Ilan Franco ordered a commission of inquiry to be set up to investigate the “factual circumstances surrounding the incident,” police said.

In addition, Cmdr. Bentzi Sao, head of the Israel Police Operations Branch, has ordered the police’s Security Division to “clarify guidelines” to officers guarding police facilities.

Security around police stations has been stepped up since the theft.

The commission of inquiry will be headed by Dep.-Cmdr. Moti Cohen, deputy chief of the Central District, and will be made up of the police’s head of security, Dep.-Cmdr. Yisrael Singer, and a senior officer from the Traffic Police.

Franco has ordered the commission to submit its initial findings within days.

The investigation into the theft will be overseen by the head of the Israel Police Investigations Branch, Cmdr. Yoav Seglovitch, and the Northern District’s deputy head, Asst.-Cmdr. Zohar Dabir.

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