A group of Arabs broke into the Federman Farm near Hevron and stole a herd of goats on Wednesday.
The theft was discovered around midnight, at which time the Federmans called the security office in Kiryat Arba.
The security officer who responded, joined soon-thereafter by local residents and fellow security officers from the local council, began following the thieves from a trail of footprints found at the scene.
Farm residents say local IDF officers saw the hue and cry had been raised and dispatched troops to the area to aid them. IDF scouts reportedly followed the trail to an Arab neighborhood in Hevron, but have so far been unable to locate the goats.
Theft from Jewish farmers by Arab gangs in southern Israel, especially Judea, is a pervasive phenonemon. Beyond simple theft, it has been known to result in violent confrontations.
Area residents say they are furious that while the army joined the chase, police did not see fit to become involved in what was clearly a criminal matter. Police declined to comment on the crime.
Police indifference to such crimes against Jewish farmers in the region has been a regular point of contention in recent years.
While losses from such thefts on farmland in Israel are often covered by the government, the Federman Farm is not officially designated as being farm land. As a result, the family will have to absorb the loss.