Monday, April, 26, 2021, 9:13 The police closed an investigative case against an Arab who was filmed stealing from a grocery store and also ramming his car into the car of a Jewish youth who was trying to block his escape. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the grocery store owner and the youth, filed an appeal with the Attorney General’s office. The case was reopened, and then surprisingly closed again.
Bleicher stated that there is unequivocal evidence that the suspect committed a crime, he is known to the police and the incident was photographed and filmed. “Therefore it is odd that an interrogation is not among the investigatory material on the suspect. This was a serious and prolonged incident, which started with theft from a grocery store, continued with a repeat of the act only one day later, and ended with a physical threat and substantial monetary damage.” The actions of the thief caused damage to the car owner and the grocery store owner and “therefore the case should be reopened and the suspect brought to trial.” It is not yet known if the appeal has been accepted or if any action has been taken against the suspect.
The incident occurred during the last Succot holiday (October 2020). A security camera recorded an Arab stealing stock left outside of a grocery store in Jerusalem. The following evening, near the store, a Jewish youth identified the thief for the store owner: “The previous evening, I saw him [the thief] taking goods and I thought that he worked there. Because I was recorded by the security cameras next to him the store owner asked me if I knew him. And then I found out that he had stolen the goods.”
The thief returned, so the youth and friends who were with him called the police. However, when they saw that the thief was trying to flee, the youth got into his private car and parked it in the street in order to block the escape route of the thief and delay him until the police arrived. The youth’s friends recorded the incident with their cell phone cameras. Please see the video clip at the end of the post.
The youth described what happened: “When I saw that he was escaping, I parked my car in the middle of the street. I wanted to block his path, and in the meantime we called the police. He got out of his car and I asked him why he was stealing. He was startled and saw that I understood what he was doing here. Then he took something out of his pocket and cursed.”
The youth could not identify what the thief had taken out of his pocket and “I felt threatened. I was scared so I backed away. He got into his car and simply rammed into my car, dragging it until he flung it aside, and then he drove away.” The youth’s car was totaled.
The police arrived at the site after a long time, but did succeed in locating the thief. However the case was closed. “It is very frustrating to hear that after all that, the police chose to close the case,” said the youth.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the car owner and the grocery store owner: “As of now, we have not received an official notification of a decision following the appeal which we filed. According to the investigatory material, the police know who the owner of the car in which the suspect fled is. However there is no indication that he has been interrogated. Additionally, there is a security camera in the store, which photographed the face of the thief. Our feeling, as a result of the increase in Arab crimes against Jews, is that there is insufficient effort being made to solve cases, detain suspects and bring them to trial, and therefore crime is rampant.”
Cell phone video of thief escaping; Video courtesy of photographer