Israeli Judge Raps Police for Wrongful Arrest of IKEA Contractor in Alleged Break-in

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An IKEA store in the Israeli city of Be'er Sheva
An IKEA store in the Israeli city of Be'er Sheva.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Police arrested a furniture assembler for an alleged break-in at a Jerusalem home last year where his fingerprints were found on a cupboard.

A judge ordered the man of 27 released about four days later when it turned out that the prints were entirely circumstantial, because he had assembled the cabinets for the IKEA furniture retailer, and apparently had nothing to do with any break-in reported at the home last year in Jerusalem's Beit Hakerem neighborhood.

The suspect, a resident of Jerusalem, was arrested about two weeks ago after landing on a flight from abroad at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Sharon Bavli-Larry ordered that the suspect’s testimony to doing furniture assembly for IKEA be verified with the home's occupant, who confirmed that the cupboard had been purchased from retailer and assembled by a representative at their home.

In ordering the suspect's immediate release on August 31, Bavli-Larry took police to task, saying there had been "no reasonable suspicion" for the arrest.

In response, the police said in part that the case is currently under investigation and “in all probability, the Israel Police would have released the arrested suspect in light of the unique coincidental circumstances, even without a court decision."

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