Police detain 3 suspected of stealing soldier’s rifle at gunpoint
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Police detain 3 suspected of stealing soldier’s rifle at gunpoint

Trio from the Negev allegedly threatened and assaulted soldier; two other men released after questioning

Rifle stolen from IDF soldier and a gun reportedly used during the theft recovered by police on June 3, 2018. (Israel Police)
Rifle stolen from IDF soldier and a gun reportedly used during the theft recovered by police on June 3, 2018. (Israel Police)

Police on Sunday said they had detained five people from southern Israel suspected of stealing a soldier’s rifle at gunpoint a week ago.

Two brothers and another family member aged 22, 18 and 17 had their remand extended until Wednesday, when police intend to indict them. They are all Israeli citizens from the Negev Desert region of southern Israel.

The three are suspected of threatening a soldier at gunpoint, at the Beit Kama junction north of Beersheba, and physically assaulting him, before taking his rifle and fleeing the scene.

Police said they had recovered the soldier’s rifle and the gun allegedly used in the incident. They suspect the incident was criminal rather than nationalistically motivated.

According to the police statement, the 22-year-old is suspected of taking a family car without permission, going to the West Bank to obtain false license plates, then driving with his brother and the 17-year-old to search for a victim.

Two others were detained for questioning and subsequently released, police said.

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