My car was stolen from a street in the middle of Petach Tikvah, in the middle of the day, approximately 10 years ago. A friend of a friend...that sort of thing happens a lot in Israel...had a friend who was a private detective. He made some calls and told me my car had been stolen by Arabs from a nearby village and was sitting there, waiting to be taken apart. He told me for a small fee, I could get it back.
There were back and forth talks, but in the meantime, some Arab took a fancy to my car and decided to take it to Ramallah. From there, it was seen months later, parked outside the Ramallah police department...and my white car had been painted blue.
"How do you know it was my car?" I asked the person who told me.
"It had your license plate on the floor of the back seat."
Well, ten years later, and thousands of stolen cars later...today's news tells us that even Knesset members are not immune.
According to recent news reports:
A Palestinian Authority Arab stole MK Effie Eitam’s car early on Thursday
morning. In the car was a cell phone with the phone numbers of several
senior government officials, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The
Mazda 5 was leased by the Knesset.
Eitam said the thief called him to negotiate, saying he was in Ramallah and would return the car in exchange for NIS 12,000. "At first he [the thief] called my family, then my assistant and finally me," the National Union-NRP member told news agencies. "He said to me: 'I stole your car. I'm in Ramallah. If you want it back, I'm willing to hand it over for NIS 12,000 (approximately $3,000)'."
"You frequently hear of such cases, but when it happens to you it's kind of a shock," Eitam continued.
"You know deep inside that you won't be seeing that car again. And the thief? He's just a few kilometers from here and wants to negotiate. On his way he even passed an Israeli checkpoint. He couldn't have reached Ramallah any other way. I immediately informed the Knesset's chief security officer of the incident. There is one positive aspect to this incident. As a Knesset member I now feel what many regular Israeli citizens feel when their car is stolen. Unfortunately, a meter from our house exists a lawless entity [the Palestinian Authority], with no order or security," Eitam said.
So, I just want to remind MK Eitam...if you happen to find someway to get your car back...please remember all of those who didn't manage to have the connections....us...regular Israeli civilians who came out of meetings and found that almost-new car...gone. We were angry, as you are now. We were shocked to find those pieces of glass on the ground and no car in sight. Mitsubishi SuperLancer of Mazda 5, the feeling is the same. Someone took what was mine, what I worked hard to buy, what I took care of, and what I needed.
On the bright side, apparently the security fence has had a great impact not only on reducing the number of terrorist attacks, but has also drastically reduced the number of car thefts in Israel. Well, I've always thought MK Eitam was a good man...an incredible rarity in the Knesset, so...if you ever need a lift, call me...at least till the insurance company pays on the policy :-)