Police have uncovered a gang of Arabs who specialized in stealing Subaru and Mazda vehicles to use their parts as spares to be sold to garages. Most of the stolen vehicles belonged to older people.
A secret investigation launched by the police last month led to the exposure of a gang of Arab car thievwes who operated in the north in the areas of Nazareth, Chadera and Umm el Fahm.
The investigation showed that the gang, which included three suspects aged 17, 31 and 45, all from the Palestinian Authority, arrived in Israel without legal permits during the afternoon hours, and searched the various communities for old vehicles from the early 90s.
They would return to the marked vehicles at night, break into them using an improvised key made from scissors, steal the vehicles and take them to the PA for dismantling.
The gang managed to steal a car or two each night, depending on the number of vehicles they managed to locate in the afternoon.
The police finally caught the gang at the beginning of the month when it deployed early-morning roadblocks on the way to the Arab village of Iksal, where the crew was driving to pick up another vehicle that they had stolen earlier.
The gang members were traveling in two vehicles, a Golf BMW with fake identification plates with which they committed the offenses and a Subaru that they had stolen from a resident in Nazareth.
The driver of the stolen Subaru, the 17-year-old minor, was arrested at the checkpoint. The driver of the Golf increased his driving speed upon seeing the police checkpoint, broke through it and then collided with a police car and damaged it. The driver and another crew member then abandoned the car and fled toward the village. The police were successful in apprehending one suspect, while the second managed to escape to PA territory.
After an intensive investigation during which 80 witnesses were questioned and evidence was gathered against the two arrested suspects, police investigators succeeded in establishing evidence of 23 car thefts, and were even successful in returning a souvenir of sentimental value that was stolen from one of the victims, a credit card saved from a deceased father.
Nahad Ben Issa Hamdani, 41, was indicted on Sunday for 18 counts of car theft, while the 17-year-old minor was indicted on Thursday for 12 counts of car theft.
The police stated that it will “continue to focus on law enforcement to preserve the quality of life and enable a safe routine for citizens.”