'The Brain' fouls up, goes back to jail

One of Israel's most infamous burglars arrested for alleged failed robbery attempt.

Brain 224.88 (photo credit: )
Brain 224.88
(photo credit: )
In a case in which truth is stranger than fiction, a best-selling author of two autobiographies trumpeting his genius in burglary will spend the rest of the week in prison for what police claim is a failed burglary attempt. On Sunday, Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court extended by six days the remand of Yitzhak "The Brain" Drori and another four suspects who allegedly attempted to break into a Jerusalem Judaica and jewelry store on Saturday. According to police, the Tel Aviv District Central Investigative Unit had received advance intelligence information claiming that the gang might try to carry out a robbery. Police said Sunday that they had observed the five entering a quiet Rehov Ben-Yehuda office building on Saturday, but emerging empty-handed almost three hours later. Detectives arrested the five suspects. Upon entering the building, police discovered a large hole in a wall separating an office from the store that is believed to have been the target of the break-in. Although the suspects had with them technologically advanced break-in tools, the would-be thieves seem to have been stymied by the thickness of the Jerusalem stone wall, police said. Drori represented himself at the Sunday morning hearing in which his remand was debated. Judge Daniela Shirazi ruled that he and his four alleged cohorts would remain behind bars for the next six days under suspicion that, if released, they could attempt to interfere with the investigation. Drori could face charges of criminal conspiracy to break into a building and possession of burglary tools. The suspects, residents of Jerusalem, Holon and Rishon Lezion, refused to talk under questioning. Drori, 64, is one of the most famous burglars in Israel. The leader of the Jerusalem-based "Bukharan Gang," he planned two of the biggest and most infamous robberies in Israeli history. In February 1984, he masterminded the dramatic and complex break-in into the safe of a Jerusalem branch of Bank Hapoalim - a crime for which he was sentenced to 12 years in prison, even though he was not present at the scene of the robbery. Drori wrote his best-selling first autobiography, The Brain, while he was still in prison, before he was released about 10 years ago. Less than a year ago, he released the sequel, The Brain 2, in which he continued to recount his development into a notorious criminal.