Raid of Kleptomaniac's Home Yields NIS 20,000 Watches, NIS 4 Soap and Everything in Between

Thousands of apparently stolen items were seized by police yesterday in the Ramat Hasharon home of an alleged kleptomaniac, police said yesterday.

Numerous motorbike helmets, Breitling watches, Louis Vuitton handbags, some 150 pairs of shoes, boxes of laundry detergent and bottles of olive oil are just a few of the items found. Police suspect that the man of the house stole these items from hundreds of stores and shopping centers over the past 10 years.

A few days ago, the Glilot Police received an intelligence tip about a large quantity of possibly stolen goods located in a Ramat Hasharon apartment, whose residents clean the building's stairs for a living. Detectives staked out the couple and their 23-year-old son, and yesterday, they raided the house.

Inside they saw thousands of objects stacked in rooms and cupboards. "Expensive watches, helmets, cosmetics, brand-name handbags, clothes, shoes, detergents, CDs and whole cartons full of video films, as well as alcoholic beverages and food products, were piled up everywhere," said Superintendent Nissim Daudi, head of investigations and intelligence.

The detectives arrested the couple and their son and took them in for questioning. The father told the police that for about the last 10 years, he has been stealing various items from every store he entered, from four-shekel bars of soap to Breitling watches worth NIS 20,000.

His wife and son are suspected of knowing of his activity but doing nothing about it.

The suspect pleaded acute kleptomania. He also said he used to give some of the things he stole to the needy, but when asked to elaborate, he told police only that he gave some equipment to a relative who needed nursing care.

The suspect allegedly stole products that had no alarms attached to them. He also used to paste stickers saying "thank you, come again" and "paid" onto packages and walk out with them. A large quantity of such stickers were found in the house.

"Sometimes he'd enter a store, pay for one item and leave with another under his shirt or hidden inside a newspaper in his shopping cart. He stole in every way possible," Daudi said.

Detectives and patrolmen spent all Sunday night transferring the products from the suspect's house to the police station. Over the next few days, police will check whether any of the property can be returned to its owners.