Rony Leibovitz (Hebrew: רוני ליבוביץ) is a convicted Israeli bank robber, nicknamed Ofnobank (a combination of the words “motorcycle” and “bank” in Hebrew), due to his theft methods. In English this moniker has been translated as the Motorcycle Bandit.
During the year 1990, Ronnie Leibowitz robbed twenty-one bank branches, mostly in the Tel Aviv area, by using a motorcycle (an Italian Moto Guzzi) to enter and escape banks, and then hiding the motorcycle in a truck readied for that purpose in advance. The police investigators, searching for a fugitive motorcycle and not a truck, were unable to locate him. The mass media “crowned” him as the “Motorcycle Bandit” and granted his crimes considerable media coverage. Only after twenty-one robberies took place was Leibowitz apprehended by the police.
When questioned, Leibowitz admitted to all his bank robberies and cooperated fully with police investigators. Just a few days after his capture, he returned all the stolen money. The district court sentenced him to twenty years in prison, but after Leibowitz appealed to the Supreme Court of Israel, his sentence was reduced to fourteen years. After the prosecution agreed to this reduction as well, and eventually served eight years).
In his verdict, the deputy president of the Supreme Court of Israel, the Hon. Menachem Elon stated his considerations for the sentence reduction:
|“||The district court judges recognized the appellant confession and deep regrets, but doubted his sincerity, that was their regrettable mistake. The report we were served by the probation officer, which the district court never received, outlined in minutest details the appellant's complicated and very complex life story and his deepest remorse. And should the plaintiff will claim, that such regrets was shown before and it is all but exclusive to the appellant in question, here come the appellant before us, and combined the deed of return the robbed money to his deep regret both by word and by heart. The means for the purpose of return the robbed money will come out of the money that will be received after selling his house. I sat in court in the cases of many strange and different robbers, and never before brought before me a bank robber, which within days from his confession and regret expression, return all the robbed money to it’s lawful owners, along with personal letter to each bank branch in which he expresses his deepest and most profound regrets, and try to explain why he performed his wrong-doings.||”|
At the time of the robberies, Ronny Leibowitz was one of the most popular figures in Israel by mocking the banks and the police.
- ↑ Rudge, David (1993-04-08). "HERUT LAPID LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO PARDON ‘MOTORCYCLE BANDIT’". The Jerusalem Post (archive). http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/jpost/access/99737593.html?dids=99737593:99737593&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Apr+08%2C+1993&author=DAVID+RUDGE&pub=Jerusalem+Post&desc=HERUT+LAPID+LAUNCHES+CAMPAIGN+TO+PARDON+%27MOTORCYCLE+BANDIT%27&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2009-03-22.