Police nab suspects tied to Israeli national team thefts

National basketball team returns to hotel after being booted from EuroBasket 2017, only to discover they have been robbed of valuable items.

Tal Polon ,

Money (illustration)
Money (illustration)
photo: iStock

Police today thwarted an attempt to smuggle out of the country belongings suspected to be stolen from members of the Israeli national basketball team, in a development that might provide a bit of solace for the downtrodden players.

Yesterday, team members returned to their Tel Aviv hotel rooms after having lost to Georgia - and being eliminated from the 2017 EuroBasket championship - only to find that they had been robbed of valuable items, including jewelry, credit cards, and cash.

To add insult to injury, the team suffered an upset tonight to Ukraine in a game which, although irrelevant for advancing in the tournament, could have finished off the tournament on a positive note with a win.

0404 reported that today police arrested an employee of the hotel suspected of stealing items belonging to guests of the hotel at which the Israeli team was staying.

During questioning, she revealed the involvement of another suspect. Upon discovering the suspect’s identity, police managed to locate him several hours later in the passport checkout line of Ben Gurion airport, carrying only a small bag. A large amount of cash was discovered on his person.

In addition, according to the report, after discovering that the stolen items included basketball tickets, police rushed to the site of the tournament games in Tel Aviv and monitored the seats corresponding to the stolen tickets.

They identified two suspects, about 30 years of age, in the seats in question. Those suspects were also detained and tomorrow, Thursday, will be brought to a hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court for an extension of their arrests.