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Thief recorded on video released from remand

Screenshot from security camera

Screenshot from security camera

Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 17:14 In Jerusalem, on a Friday in late June, S., a married yeshiva student, rode his electric bicycle to go shopping in preparation for Shabbat. When he briefly left the bicycle unattended, Arabs stole it. A suspect was detained on the basis of the video clip and his remand was extended, but the police closed the case. S. described the theft: “They followed me for a while [in a car] beforehand, from ‘Osher Ad’ [an Israeli supermarket chain]. They tried to steal the bicycle, but I came out of the store. I went to Kiryat Belz to pick up a package and I parked the bicycle inside a building. I came down a minute later, and the bicycle wasn’t there.” S. added that the thief left behind a six-pack of water bottles that weighed down the bicycle, but took the other shopping bags with the expensive bicycle. A policewoman who arrived on the scene after S. called the police put out a call for the car the thieves were driving, which was identified by video clips recorded by security cameras in the area. In one of the video clips, a light-colored car is seen following S. on the opposite side of the street from him. When he entered a building, the car made a U-turn and stopped where S. entered the building. The thief exited the car, entered the building and left riding S.’s bicycle. The video clip shows the car driving alongside the thief on the bicycle (see screenshot above). Earlier video footage from a security camera shows that Arabs followed S. for approximately ten minutes in a car while waiting for a window of opportunity. The video clip led the police to the owner of the car and he was detained on suspicion of theft. However, much to the surprise of S., several days later he received a notice that the case had been closed due to “lack of evidence”. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing S., has demanded access to the investigative material in the case in order to file an appeal on its closing. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “Thefts by Arabs are a national menace and instead of determinedly fighting the phenomenon, the police release the thieves. Weakness on the part of the police sends a message to citizens that they are not safe or protected and also sends a message to criminals that crime pays, and that’s a problem.”

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