Man in handcuffs - illustrative.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
A man who works for the Tel Aviv Municipality was arrested for carrying out a series of bank robberies in the city in recent weeks.
Anuar Abu-Sarai, 40, robbed a Discount Bank branch on Sheinkin Street on Tuesday morning, and tore off on a scooter with NIS 7,000 in cash. Police tracked him down a few hours later, and while in custody he confessed to the robbery as well as to four others in the past few weeks.
Police found him by matching the make and model of his scooter to owners in the Tel Aviv area.
All of the robberies Abu-Sarai allegedly carried out followed a similar script.
In each case he walked in, approached the counter and told the teller it was a robbery, and was quickly handed money and fled without interference.
In none of the cases was he armed, nor did he use any violence.
A Tel Aviv police representative said on Wednesday that Abu-Sarai had no criminal record, nor did they know of any special reason why he started targeting banks.
About one a week, police report a bank robbery in the central region, and the vast majority play out the same way. The robber is unarmed, hands the teller a note, and flees with a few thousand shekels, by scooter or on foot.
There is rarely violence.
That is not always been the case, though. In January 2013, Central District Police arrested Gadi Korsansky, a serial bank robber who had come to be known as “the Motorcycle Bandit 2.” Gadi Korsansky, was arrested on suspicion of robbing 15 banks armed with a pistol, including one in August 2012 in which the security guard was fatally shot.
Korsansky’s case garnered big headlines, largely because it reminded the public of the original “Motorcycle Bandit,” Rony Leibovitz, who in 1990 robbed 21 bank branches, mainly in the Tel Aviv area, becoming a media sensation in the process.