BEIRUT — The Internal Security Forces (ISF) announced that it killed one suspect and arrested four others, all wanted for numerous crimes committed between 2020 and 2023 mostly in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
The individuals were charged with armed robbery and burglary.
In a statement published on the police website on Thursday, the ISF intelligence service said it gathered information on "an armed gang whose members impersonate security agents and rob houses," beating up their inhabitants.
"They steal their money and belongings after tying them up and assaulting them, beating them and shooting towards them," the text detailed.
إنجاز جديد لشعبة المعلومات في توقيف أخطر عصابات السطو المسلّح، بعد اشتباك معها، ومقتل الرأس المدبّر وتوقيف باقي أفرادها.— قوى الامن الداخلي (@LebISF) September 14, 2023
من وقع ضحيّتهم؟#قوى_الأمن
Several members of the gang have already arrested in the past, and are based out of the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila, south of Beirut. On Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, two suspects left the camp in a car with a false license plate and were followed and surrounded by a police patrol unit.
The first man, B.H., fired at the police, who fired back and killed him. The second, A. H., was also arrested, along with three other individuals: a 51-year-old (Lebanese), a 59-year-old (Syrian) and a 19-year-old (Lebanese). Their weapons were seized.
The individual identified by police as B. H., a 46-year-old Palestinian, had already been arrested in 2020 for thefts from restaurants and shops in Jounieh, Zouk Mosbeh and Zouk Mikhael. He escaped in September 2020 after his arrest and committed additional crimes in Khaldeh, Damour, Rmeileh, Hazmieh, Ashrafieh, Jounieh and Antelias, the ISF text stated.
The police identified B.H. as the leader of the gang. He is the subject of 19 legal proceedings for armed robbery, shooting, insubordination to the forces of law and order, and concealment of weapons and munitions of war.
A. H., another Palestinian, aged 40, was the subject of 29 legal proceedings. Both lived in the Shatila camp and "only came out to commit their crimes," added the police.
The press release lists a large number of crimes committed between Nov. 2020 and Jul. 2023, most of which involved home burglaries and theft of various sorts. In one cases, the amount stolen reached $400,000.
On Apr. 14, 2023, they broke into Villa Asmahan in Abadiyeh, where they impersonated security guards and stole $100,000 worth of cash and jewelry.
All arrested suspects have confessed to their acts, according to the ISF, which released their photos and requested that victims and witnesses go to the police headquarters in Ashrafieh or call 1788 to help with the investigation.