A man of convictions - 136 of them

Eighty-three of Sharabi's 136 convictions have been theft-related.

handcuffed 224.88 (photo credit: )
handcuffed 224.88
(photo credit: )
A man convicted 136 times for various offenses was arrested again over the weekend after allegedly stealing two cellphones on the Tel Aviv beachfront. The suspect, 57-year-old Petah Tikva resident Gavriel Sharabi, is no stranger to local authorities. "He's well known to police," a Tel Aviv Police spokeswoman said by phone on Sunday. "All I can tell you is that we arrested him again on Saturday for stealing cellphones from two people who were swimming. The investigation is ongoing at this time." Eighty-three of Sharabi's 136 convictions have been theft-related. Another Petah Tikva man who shares the thief's name and is repeatedly mistaken for him was reached for comment on Sunday. He is familiar with the arrested Sharabi, or "Avi Tassa" as he is known in the neighborhood. "It's a sad story," the second Sharabi said. "He's been getting picked up by the police since we were 10 years old, and they keep putting him in jail. But every time he gets out, he gets arrested again, and goes back in." Sharabi No. 2 also said that the man's family had undergone loss after loss. "His mother passed away, and then his father... also passed away. One of his brothers is in a psychiatric hospital and another one died from cancer," he said. When asked if he thought Tassa suffered from kleptomania, Sharabi responded: "He's a kleptomaniac and more. Basically, at the end of the day, it's a sad story. It's not normal - we're talking about someone who can't stop stealing."