Police car in Tel Aviv at night 311.
(photo credit: Yoni Cohen)
Following a spate of nighttime car-jackings on West Bank highways, police
arrested a suspect they believe may be linked to the robberies during a stakeout
late Sunday night.
Police arrested the suspect at a junction near
Kalkilya after he approached an automobile parked on the side of the road in
which an undercover female police officer was sitting. When the suspect
attempted to pull the officer out of the vehicle, undercover officers swooped in
and made the arrest. Police said the suspect, a 23-year-old resident of
Kalkilya, was carrying a knife when he was arrested.
Police launched the
stakeout following the wave of car thefts in the past month, eight of which
occurred in the past week.
Most of the car-jackings have taken place on
highway 55 and highway 60.
According to National Police spokesman Micky
Rosenfeld, the thieves used a variety of methods to steal the cars. In a number
of incidents they would bump into a car from behind faking a minor collision,
and when the driver pulled over and exited the car to inspect the damage, a
passenger would run into the car and drive off, followed by the car in
In another method, they would use one car to block off the highway,
faking an accident and forcing an oncoming car to slow to a halt, which they
would then steal after forcing out the driver.
Rosenfeld said that the
suspects used neither a deadly weapon nor the threat of violence in any of the
Hanael Durani, head of the local council of the West Bank
settlement of Kedumim, said the wave of robberies has significantly affected the
lives of residents.
“Nowadays if a woman has to go out at night she’ll
think twice before taking her car out onto the highway. It’s something that has
really altered the fabric of our lives recently.”
However, Durani did
clarify that the people of Kedumim are not living in fear. They trust the police
and security services to put an end to the robberies, she said.