Israel Drops Case Against Drug Addict Targeted in Petty Sting

South Tel Aviv cops left 200-shekel bill in plain sight in car with door open, watched through surveillance cameras, and busted woman after she took the money

Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg
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Still from security camera footage of incident involving A., set up by police to take 200 shekels from an open car.
Still from security camera footage of incident involving A., set up by police to take 200 shekels from an open car.Credit:
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

An indictment against A., a drug addict who stole 200 shekels ($59) from a car whose door was purposely left ajar by sting-minded police in south Tel Aviv, was dropped on Monday with the consent of police and the public defender.

Last week, Magistrate Court Justice Eitan Kornhauser recommended to police that they retract the indictment, criticizing their actions. “Leaving an open door is an inducement to commit a crime,” he said, referring to the area and the people who frequent it. He noted that the woman had not gone looking at different cars.

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During the hearing, it turned out that police have no set rules for set-ups such as this one, which was an initiative by the station in the area. The public defender called for putting this practice in order.

Proceedings against A. have been going on since October of 2018. In the car was a plainly visible 200-shekel bill. A. noticed the slightly open door and took it. Within minutes she was in handcuffs, after being observed by two detectives watching her through surveillance cameras in an adjacent banquet hall.

Attorney Shira Keidar, who is representing A., welcomed the consent of prosecutors to retract the indictment. “The inducement in this case cries out, as does the puzzling collaboration of a private banquet hall with the police. The case indicates the need to set clear guidelines so as to prevent such inducements to commit crimes, where it’s obvious that the police are targeting weaker sectors of the population,” she said.

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