311_el al plane.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
An El Al employee was arrested this week by the police’s Unit 747, which
operates at Ben-Gurion Airport, for stealing two cellphones from the cockpit of
an Arkia passenger jet, and a distress signal transmitter from an El Al
Police received a complaint from a security officer on behalf of
Arkia in late December, detailing a report by a pilot who, upon landing in
Eilat, noticed that a cellphone in his cockpit had been replaced with an older
A police check revealed that the older model was itself stolen
from the plane a year ago.
Detectives focused their investigation on
people who had access to the plane’s cockpit, including El Al ground staff who
service Arkia at airports in Israel.
The stolen phone was traced to a
24-year-old Rishon Lezion man, and police obtained a warrant to search his home.
The phone was recovered during the search.
During questioning, the man
accused a 24-year-year-old El Al employee, from Kfar Yona, 7 km. east of
Netanya, of stealing the device. He said he had paid for it.
searched the home of the El Al employee, and discovered a stolen communications
device used to send distress signals in case of a technical
“This is a safety device that is both expensive and valuable
in case of a malfunction,” police said.
The suspect confessed to removing
the device from an El Al plane and taking it home. He also confessed to stealing
two cellphones from an Arkia plane, as well as lifting perfumes and cosmetics
from other Arkia planes.
State prosecutors are writing up an indictment
against the man, police said. Police stressed that Arkia and El Al fully
cooperated with the investigation.