Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Quite a feat: Sharon cuts crime from hospital bed


Burglaries, car thefts and other crimes have more than halved since Israelis began gluing themselves to television sets for news of their ailing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"We have seen a fall of more than 50 percent in offences since Mr Sharon was admitted to the Hadassah" hospital in Jerusalem last Wednesday, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP on Tuesday.

In the first three days after Sharon's massive stroke, only 865 burglaries were reported compared to 1,739 in the corresponding period last year.

Police attributed the fall to the fact that householders and would-be burglars have been preoccupied with their prime minister's fight for life.

"It's obviously more difficult to break into a house while the owner is stuck in front of the television," one police source told the Maariv daily.

"But it's also possible that some of the burglars have themselves decided to stay in to follow Mr Sharon's health."