A fugitive wanted in a hit-and- run that left three women dead in Netanya on Friday night was arrested during a police raid on Monday evening, ending a three-day manhunt for the career criminal that captivated the nation.
Police said around 50 undercover and YASSAM special patrol officers surrounded a scrap metal warehouse in the Netanya industrial district Monday night, after receiving intelligence that Shushan Baraby, 35, was hiding inside. After police forced their way into the building, Baraby tried to flee but was caught and is currently undergoing questioning at the Sharon District police headquarters.
Police also arrested at least one other person of interest at the scene of the raid Monday night, and have taken another Baraby family member into custody for questioning.
Tuesday morning Baraby will be taken to court for a remand extension. Police said Monday night that the investigation is still ongoing, and they are probing whether Baraby hid out in other locations over the past three days, and who helped him in his short-lived time on the run.
Police launched a manhunt for Baraby on Friday night, after he plowed through a crosswalk in Netanya, killing Svetlana Yigudiyev, 56, and her daughter Shoshana, 25, both from Dimona, and Svetlana’s cousin Alexandra Rubinov, 67, of Netanya.
Baraby’s wife, Nitzah, appeared, in labor, at the delivery room of Laniado Hospital Monday evening, where she called for her husband to turn himself in.
In a message passed to her attorney, Nitzah said to her husband Shushan “if you hear me, turn yourself in.”
Nitzah vanished after the accident and had not been seen since she appeared at the Netanya hospital. It was widely reported on Monday that Nitzah was also wanted by police, though a lawyer representing her denied the reports outright. The lawyer also said that his client was not in hiding with her husband, though earlier in the day she gave a phone interview to Ynet in which she described the difficulty of being a pregnant woman in hiding.
Witnesses reported seeing Shushan Baraby fleeing the scene of the crime on foot and a few hours later a second man – 26-year-old Yochai Glicksman – turned himself in saying he was behind the wheel of the car, before later changing his story. Glicksman’s wife told reporters the next day that her husband was asleep at the time of the accident and that Baraby came to their house and called him to come downstairs, saying he needed him for something urgent.
On Sunday, President Shimon Peres mentioned the accident, saying “we are all going through a terrible period of time of violence in Israel,” in particular “the accident the night before last in which three women were murdered in a hit and run.”
Baraby was arrested in 2010 and charged with reckless driving after he tore through a police roadblock on Highway 5 while traveling at more than 180 kph.
On Sunday, the Netanya City Hall confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that in 2005, Baraby was given a plot of land to open a watermelon kiosk “in order to help his rehabilitation” and get him away from his life of crime.
The kiosk continued to expand over the year even without a business permit, spreading onto public property and morphing into a barbecue restaurant, convenience store and lottery stand named “Almogim.”
Netanya City Hall said on Sunday that “in order to assist former convict Shushan Baraby’s rehabilitation, the city gave him a small piece of land in 2005 to build a kiosk where he could sell watermelons. To our dismay, he violated the permits given to him and therefore legal steps are being taken against him.”
The municipality denied reports that Baraby was given the plot of land after threatening Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg’s life, saying “the mayor did not know of any threat made against her and certainly did not hear of any such threat.”
Feirberg herself took to the airwaves on Army Radio on Sunday, calling on Baraby to turn himself in, and saying that she is certain that the accident was not intentional, and that Baraby “has a good heart.”