Shackled with his head buried underneath his jacket, a man police say is the
“Motorcycle Bandit 2,” the No. 1 target of the Central District Police, was
brought into the Ramle Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, where his remand was
extended until next Wednesday.
Surrounded by a dozen police officers,
Gabi Kosanosky of Rishon Lezion was brought before the judge and a phalanx of
photographers befitting his alleged status as a serial bank robber, responsible
for hitting at least 15 banks in central Israel over the past
The former Border Police officer stands accused of armed
robbery and murder, as police believe he pulled off the armed robbery of a Bank
Hapoalim in Be’er Ya’acov in August in which security guard Yaniv Engler was
Detectives originally requested a 15-day remand extension
during the hearing.
They told the judge on Thursday that Kosanosky
cooperated with investigators after he was caught robbing a bank in Be’er
Ya’acov Wednesday night, and that he confessed to at least two of the
They added that he did not, however, confess to the shooting
The judge ruled that the evidence presented by police
indicated there is reason to suspect Kosanosky is responsible for the crimes he
has been charged with, and that his release could endanger the
Lawyer Shahar Hatzroni told the court to grant the police the
15-day extension, arguing that they would exhaust their investigation over the
course of those days and come to the conclusion that his client is not involved
in the series of crimes he has been charged with.
Hatzroni also accused
police of taking advantage of the fact that a man was caught red-handed in the
course of a robbery, launching an attempt to get his client to link himself to
all of the robberies as well as the murder of Engler.
“Other than the
incident yesterday and a separate one which he reenacted [for] police, he has no
connection to any of the other incidents, including the murder in Be’er
Ya’acov,” Hatzroni said.
Engler’s parents and two other relatives
attended the Thursday hearing, and when asked why he came, Engler’s father,
Asher, said: “I want to see the cruelty of this person who shot my son four
times at point blank range.”
The family said they are not certain that
Kosanosky is the man who killed their son in a robbery that netted only NIS
4,000, as police had previously arrested another man months earlier who they
suspected was the serial bank robber.
When asked what penalty he hopes
Kosanosky will get, if he is indeed the man who killed his son, Asher said, “A
bullet in the head, he should die.”
The first “Motorcycle Bandit,” Rony
Leibovitz, became something of a folk hero and media phenomenon after he robbed
21 banks in 1990 before being was caught. Leibovitz ended up serving eight years
in prison for the string of armed robberies.