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Tel Aviv District police have arrested a suspect they believe is responsible for the steep rise in recent weeks in the number of cases of breaking and entering into homes throughout the city's metropolitan area, particularly in the city center. This past month alone saw at least 50 break-ins in Tel Aviv.

Police suspect that David Emanuel, 36, of Lod is responsible for dozens of burglaries, from Ibn Gvirol and Dizengoff Streets in the center to the northern city limits and the Ayalon Freeway. Emanuel was arrested on the weekend, and a judge at Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court extended his remand by six days.

"We have a number of indications about the criminal activity, various testimonies and evidence from apartments he broke into," said Chief Inspector Boaz Blatt, of the police's investigations department. "In several cases, he was able to enter a residential building and break into three or four apartments in the same building, one after the other."

The investigation conducted over the past month culminated in Emanuel's arrest as the prime suspect behind the burglary wave. Investigators have begun retracing his steps, and discovered that he frequents Tel Aviv hostels, often moving from one to another after a number of weeks.

This weekend, after collecting enough evidence to make an arrest, investigators entered the hostel where Emanuel was staying, detained him for questioning and collected a number of items they believe to be stolen, including portable computers, watches, bags and documents. "The suspect usually parted with the stolen items on the day of the burglary, most likely with the aid of an accomplice who helped him to flee and to sell the stolen goods," Blatt said.

This weekend, Emanuel was summoned to Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, where police asked for his remand to be extended by 12 days, a rare request for property-related crime.

Emanuel's attorney, Avital Amsalem, said, "We are still only dealing with property violations and allegations," and asked for the remand to be cut short. However, Judge Zion Kapach said that the scope of the crimes and the existing evidence requires that the extended remand remain in force.