Police Fail to Bolster Security at Station Despite Rifle Thefts

Although three months have passed since 13 rifles and ammunition were stolen from a traffic police station in Rosh Pina, security arrangements at the stations have not been improved. The fence around the station was not mended and on inspection, Haaretz could easily gain access to the station.

The station in Rosh Pina where ammunition and 13 rifles were stolen.
Gil Eliyahu

The police station is situated near the road leading to up to Rosh Pina and Safed, and very close to the Amiad-Kiryat Shmona highway. On its western side is an olive grove, and a dirt road runs along the broken fence around the station. It is believed that this is the location where the getaway vehicle awaited the thief or thieves who stole the munitions.

Haaretz found that since the break-in no improvements have been made to better secure the station. The fence around the station remains breached, no security cameras have been installed looking toward vulnerable western side of the fence, and no one appears to have noticed this reporter entering the station perimeter through the old fence.

The rifles and ammunition were stolen from the station building, which is manned by dozens of policemen, officers and volunteers, on March 9. While no suspects have yet been apprehended, an internal committee found a number of systemic and personal failings leading up to the incident.

Last week police said disciplinary action would be taken against three senior commanders in the northern district. The three, including commander of the traffic police in the Galilee, Superintendent Nimrod Bechor, will face a tribunal on charges of negligence and failing to follow an order, after having the weapons moved to an unsecured room. The tribunal is empowered to relieve the officers of their duties.

The traffic police commander in the north, Chief Superintendent Yoel Sadeh, will also be tried for neglecting to carry out inspections and security drills, while Yarden station commander Superintendent Nir Ekron will also face charges of failing in his perception of the station security, working in contradiction to regulations and not ensuring missions were carried out. Yarden's promotion, which had been recommended before the incident, will be reconsidered.