An investigation into a series of car thefts led police to a Kfar Kassem resident, who headed the gang that stole vehicles belonging to residents of Petach Tikvah and Raanana – after discovering that the vehicles had been serviced at the same garage.
Police received 13 complaints over a two month period from residents whose vehicles were stolen. Investigations into the cases indicated that all the vehicles stolen were new ones, either Mazdas or Hyundais, and were serviced at the same garage, one located in Petach Tikvah that serviced both nameplates. The investigation narrowed down the suspect to a Kfar Kassem resident who worked at the garage, and had access to information about the vehicles and their owners.
When confronted by police, the suspect attempted to escape, but was unable to do so. He then pulled out his cellphone and smashed it on the ground, hoping to break it and prevent police from tracking down his accomplices. Police were able to restore the device and identify others he had worked with – including individuals who helped him steal the vehicles, as well as Palestinian Authority residents to whom the cars were dispatched, and who dismantled them for parts.
The remand of the suspect has been extended. He is to be charged with 13 counts of stealing vehicles, and other associated charges. Police are preparing to make further arrests in the case.