Israel Police Vow to Find Rape Suspect, Restore 'Public's Security'

Police sources say investigators collected high-quality DNA, fingerprint evidence from scene of Tel Aviv rape.

Police Sunday continued to investigate the rape late Friday night of a young woman in the parking garage of the Tel Aviv municipality and Gan Ha'ir residential and shopping complex.

The young woman and a male friend told police that sometime after 2:30 A.M Saturday a man with a knife followed them into the garage, forced them into a public bathroom where he ordered them to have sex, and then raped the woman. The couple told police the suspect kept them in the bathroom for more than an hour and a half, during which time he assaulted both of them. Police believe the woman may have been sexually assaulted more than once.

Investigators say that afterward the suspect ran out of the garage and apparently got on a bicycle and rode in the direction of Shlomo Hamelekh Street.

Police sources said investigators collected high-quality DNA and fingerprint evidence from the scene that could help identify the perpetrator.

They added that other of the suspect's actions could help in that process. For example, he took the woman's cellular phone when he fled the scene.

Her parents told police that when they called the number, a man they said had an Arab accent answered but hung up. The police were trying to trace the phone's location.

In a conference call Sunday, Commissioner Yohanan Danino asked all district commanders to increase the number of beat officers on the street to help restore Israelis' sense of safety, which he said had been compromised by the large number of violent incidents throughout the country over the past two weeks.

Tel Aviv District Police Commander Aharon Aksol said Sunday the police is doing everything possible to apprehend the suspect in the rape incident.

"We know that incidents of this type create difficult feelings in terms of a person's sense of personal security, despite the fact that we know they don't reflect the true statistics," Aksol said, adding, "I know it's very hard to deal with the feelings of citizens, but we will do the maximum to restore the public's feeling of security."

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