Israel Police Arrest Suspected Leader of Crime Ring That Stole Dozens of Weapons From Army Base

Suspects allegedly sold M-16 rifles to crime organizations

ILLUSTRATION: Weapons recovered by police after being stolen from the Sde Teiman army base in May.
Israel Police Spokesman

A resident of Kafr Kara was arrested before dawn Thursday on suspicion of heading a ring that stole dozens of weapons from military bases and sold them to crime organizations. Two brothers from Be’er Sheva and four northern residents were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of trading with the stolen arms.

The suspect, a man in his 20s, was found hiding in an apartment in the north. The ring he allegedly headed is suspected of breaking into the armory of the Sde Teiman base near Be’er Sheva at the end of May, stealing 33 M-16 rifles and selling them to crime organizations.

Two brothers from Be’er Sheva, whom the IDF employed as renovation contractors despite their criminal record, are suspected of the armory robbery in Sde Teiman. One brother allegedly spoke to the soldier guarding the armory, while the other stole the weapons.

Police say they have recovered 11 of the weapons that were stolen from the base, as well as about a million shekels ($280 million), allegedly received for various arms sales.