Police case against robber on shaky ground

Court extends remand of "Motorcycle Bandit 2" for 5th time, almost month after arrested, charged with 15 bank robberies, murder.

'Motorcycle bandit' brought before Ramle court 370 (photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)
'Motorcycle bandit' brought before Ramle court 370
(photo credit: BEN HARTMAN)
The police’s case against a serial bank robber appears to be on shaky ground as the Ramle Magistrate’s Court extended suspect Gabi Kosanosky’s remand for the fifth time on Wednesday, nearly a month after he was first arrested and charged with 15 separate bank robberies and the murder of a bank security guard.
Kosanosky, the “Motorcycle Bandit 2,” was caught by undercover cops after a Be’er Ya’acov bank robbery on December 5, and Central District Police greeted the arrest of their No. 1 target with great fanfare.
On Wednesday, however, police were forced to request a fifth extension of his remand, a move that required the approval of the Attorney-General’s Office, as it would mean keeping Kosanosky in jail past the 30-day limit for presenting an indictment.
In court on Wednesday, Kosanosky’s lawyers Omar Guetta and Shahar Hitzroni worked to punch holes in the police case, which they said does not include sufficient evidence to present an indictment.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Guetta said, “Typically when the court extends the remand of someone this long, again and again, it’s a sign that something is not right with the case.”
Guetta would not relate to reports that police lack DNA or other hard evidence to link his client to the robberies, saying only that the case is lacking, as indicated by the repeated extensions of Kosanosky’s remand. He added that his client has denied any connection to all but the single robbery during which he was arrested.
At the end of the hearing on Wednesday, Judge Leora Frenkel extended Kosanosky’s remand for an additional 13 days, saying she is certain there is still significant reason to suspect he is linked to the crimes, and that police carried out “a great deal of investigative work” that has produced evidence linking him to the crimes.
Kosanosky, a former Border Police officer, stands accused of armed robbery and murder, in connection to a Bank Hapoalim in Be’er Ya’acov in August in which security guard Yaniv Engler was shot dead.
In early September police announced the arrest of a man they said was the serial bank robber, but released him shortly thereafter.