Gun-stealing gang caught

Sakhnin brothers would stake-out soldiers to assault and take their rifles.

reserve soldiers 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
reserve soldiers 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Police on Wednesday announced they have uncovered a criminal gang in Sakhnin they believe is responsible for two different incidents in which a soldier was attacked and his personal firearm stolen.
The investigation was carried out by the Galilee branch of the Central Police Investigative unit ‘Yamar’ with the cooperation of the Shin Bet General Security Service.
On Wednesday, a prosecutor presented the Acre Magistrate’s court with the charges against the 11 suspects, including membership in an illegal organization, aggravated robbery, and a number of weapons offenses.
Police said the suspects have confessed to the allegations against them under questioning.
The three central characters in the case are two brothers and their cousin, all residents of Sakhnin in their twenties, who police believe worked in a methodical manner, performing surveillance on IDF soldiers at bus stops where soldiers hitch rides on their way to and from army camps, awaiting opportunity.
Their first opportunity came on January 3rd, when the three men are suspected of following a soldier's movements, and assaulting him with bats in Carmiel to steal his M16.
On February 25th, police believe the two brothers set upon an IDFsoldier at a junction near Kiryat Shmona, struck him in the head with ablunt object and made off with his firearm.
The soldier was evacuated to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed in light condition.
Policesaid the attackers fled the scene in a vehicle. A large police search,involving roadblocks, patrol units, and a police helicopter waslaunched soon after the attack.
In both occasions, police saythe three suspects sold the rifles to a member of the Amara crimefamily in Kfar Kana for NIS 34,000.