Building contractor arrested for weapons theft

Renovations contractor working on IDF base turns out to be accomplice in May weapons theft.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Some of the stolen weapons
Some of the stolen weapons
Israel Police spokesperson

Six residents of Be'er Sheva and the north were arrested on suspicion of stealing weapons from IDF bases and selling them to criminal organizations in Israel's north and south.

The investigation was opened after 33 weapons were stolen on May 27 from the Sdeh Teiman army base near Be'er Sheva.

During intensive and complex operations, authorities succeeded in locating 11 of the stolen weapons, followed by another three of the weapons. They also found a large quantity of various kinds of drugs, and the vehicles which the suspects used to commit their crimes.

After collecting sufficient evidence to prove their case, investigators arrested the six suspects one after the other.

Their arrests have been extended.

Already at the beginning, it was clear that renovations contractors who worked on the army base were involved in the theft. Police detectives began to use advanced technology to collect evidence of involvement, bringing investigators to the realization that the thefts in the south were connected to suspects in the north.

The investigation showed that the break-in, the tactics, and the sales were organized down to the last detail by two of the suspects, who are suspected of breaking into the armory and stealing weapons.

On Friday, May 27, the two suspects broke into the base and loaded their vehicle with dozens of weapons. They worked strategically, selling ten stolen weapons to southern criminal organizations and 18 to northern criminal organizations that same day. Four days later, the thieves sold another five weapons.

After hiding the weapons in their vehicle's trunk, the suspects traveled to a gas station on Highway 6, where they met and switched vehicles with another group. A few days later, the two groups met again to settle the payment.

Once the investigation went public, the six suspects were arrested.

Two of the suspects are from Be'er Sheva, and the other four are residents of Israel's north.

The southern suspects organized the theft, and the northern suspects bought the weapons from them.

During the lengthy operation, the police succeeded in locating all the stolen weapons, except for 11. The confiscated materials included ecstasy, hashish, a carbine rifle and two pistols, and 200,000 NIS worth of hydrocodone, as well as IDF flak jackets, laser markers, and more.

Israel Police intends to confiscate one million NIS from the profits, as well as the four vehicles (worth 400,000 NIS) which were used for the crimes.