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Israeli army probing theft of F-16 engines

Dec. 6, 2012 at 6:33 AM

TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Israel's military police are investigating the theft of F-16 fighter plane engines from an air force base in central Israel, a report said.

Army Radio said Thursday the base commander contacted the military police after discovering the engines missing. There were no details how many engines or engine parts were stolen but the radio report said the estimated worth is millions of dollars.

While it is unclear who is responsible, police say the theft was pulled off with inside help since the security fence surrounding the base was intact, the radio said.

Police are investigating whether someone inside the base opened the gate to the thieves who drove a vehicle large enough to carry the engine parts out of the base.

Authorities haven't ruled out the possibility that the engines were stolen to sell as scrap metal, the report said.

The Israeli army spokesman confirmed an investigation is under way and said the findings would be handed over to the military prosecutor, the Army Radio report said.

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