Ramot Residents: Robbers Making Our Lives Hell

Homes in Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood ransacked by gangs of professional thieves; police appeal for help.

David Lev ,

Hareidi man walks past Ramot mall
Hareidi man walks past Ramot mall
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Residents of the Ramot neighborhood in Jerusalem are attempting to find ways to deal with an ongoing spate of robberies. Dozens of residents say they have lost their sense of security after a gang of professional thieves broke into their homes, with a seemingly prophetic knowledge of exactly when to rob which house.

Victims have told police that they found their homes completely ransacked after going out for barely an hour. Others have installed security cameras, which show images of a group of men carrying what appear to be tools to break into homes. The group has been seen in numerous videos, and they appear to be moving around the neighborhood in order to determine the pattern of movements of residents – swooping in to rob them when they have the opportunity.

The group has been seen in person as well, said residents.

“We know who lives on our street and who doesn't, so when we see loiterers who don't belong here we know what they are doing here,” said one resident in an interview. “We see on security cameras how the robbers operate, which cars they use and where they go.”

The robbers take just about everything they can carry, from electronics to passports and cash.

A police official said that they were not aware of a problem.

“According to statistics there has been a slight upturn in robberies in the neighborhood. As a result police have increased their patrols. Police officials have met with the residents and are aware of their concern. We appeal to residents to join the ranks of volunteer police patrols in order to help police battle crime,” the official said.