Cleared for publication: Jerusalem Police arrested a 24-year-old yeshiva student and IDF soldier several weeks ago who is being charged with armed robbery using an M16 rifle stolen from an army base.
An indictment was filed against the suspect last week charging him with weapons theft, robbery and conduct unbecoming. The soldier is also suspected of another robbery carried out in a similar manner. An indictment on that charge will be filed later this week.
The suspect is a yeshiva student also serving as a driver in the Central Command and is a married father of one.
In 2009, an M16 rifle was stolen from a soldier serving in one of the bases in the Jerusalem area, however a Military Police investigation did not yield any leads.
The indictment, which was filed by the military prosecution, states that last August a veiled man dressed in an IDF uniform entered a gas station store in Jerusalem's Ramat Eshkol neighborhood in the middle of the night, drew his M16 rifle and proceeded to rob the place of NIS 4,000 ($1,124.86) and flee the scene.
A similar robbery was noted last November. It is alleged that the suspect entered a post office in Mea Shearim and again left the site with NIS 4,000. In this instance, however the crime was committed in the early evening hours while the post office was packed with women and children. The Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office is scheduled to file an indictment on this case in the coming days.
Rifle found in staircase
Police launched an investigation and finally found a lead several weeks ago after receiving a report on a suspicious suitcase found in the staircase of a building in Jerusalem's Romema neighborhood. Sappers later found the rifle stolen in 2009 and a computer inside the suitcase.
In his interrogation the suspect denied having committed the robberies but confessed to stealing the weapon. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court extended his remand until all legal proceedings against him are completed.
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