Amid internet shopping frenzy, burglars break into main post office
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Amid internet shopping frenzy, burglars break into main post office

Intruders scared off by security guards; unclear if any items were stolen; work underway to piece together damaged parcels

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of a post office sorting center, Tel Aviv February 22, 2010. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90)
Illustrative photo of a post office sorting center, Tel Aviv February 22, 2010. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90)

The post office on Sunday said it was trying to assess the damage caused after burglars broke into its central package-sorting office and tore open hundreds of packages.

Intruders gained access to the sorting office in central region city of Modiin overnight Friday.

The break-in came as Israel’s postal system was bracing itself for an annual spike in online shopping by Israelis hoping to pick up internet bargains in the pre-Christmas rush. On Saturday, the Chinese online retailer Alibaba, a popular site among Israelis, held its annual 11.11 sale. Tens of thousands of Israelis were expected to have placed orders with the site.

The post office has seen a huge increase in packages shipped to Israel in recent years as Israelis look to beat high local prices.

The robbers were disturbed by security guards and fled the scene. The post office did not say how many people were involved in the incident.

An initial investigation found that hundreds of packages were torn open and the contents removed, but the post office said it was not clear if any items had been stolen.

A complaint was filed with police over the break-in.

Service workers tried to repackage as many of the parcels as possible. Those items that they were unable to return to their original packages were documented and cataloged. The post office said it is contacting clients based on the details gleaned from parcels to let them know that their deliveries were damaged.

The NIS 100 million ($28 million) center was launched two months ago. It uses a high-tech automated system to sort and scan packages before labeling them for delivery around the country.

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