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Police Shut Down PA 'Factory' for Stolen Cars

Police have raided an Arab laboratory near Hevron used to forge license plates and documents, allowing for the re-use of stolen Israeli cars.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/15/2010, 3:11 PM / Last Update: 3/15/2010, 7:29 PM

Israel Police

Police have found a laboratory in the Palestinian Authority (PA) town of Yatta, south of Hevron, that was used to forge documents and license plates. The lab was used to disguise stolen Israeli cars and also provided individual PA Arabs with fake ID cards.

Police raided the lab and arrested its owner, 45-year-old Yousef Noagah, after a lengthy investigation by the Etgar unit, which specializes in addressing the issue of car thefts. The unit sometimes operates in PA areas because many stolen cars are taken by PA Arabs.

The PA has often dealt with the massive number of stolen Israeli cars in areas under its control by destroying them when they are found.

"The operation conducted in Yatta exposed an industry of forgery and reuse of stolen vehicles,” police said in a statement. “The serious issue, beyond the use of stolen property, is the danger posed by this phenomenon, which leaves hundreds of unsafe vehicles on the road, where they pose a threat to public safety and are often involved in traffic accidents.”