Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has started investigations into theft of over 15,000 bullets from a southern army base. This is the third incidence of a major theft occurring this past year despite enforcement of new security measures.

“During an ammunition count at a base in the south of the country, ammunition was discovered to be missing,” the army statement revealed.

The military police is now investigating how this major theft occurred.

Currently, the  IDF has  top-of-the-line weapons and computer systems. Some gear comes from the US such as the M4A1 and M16 assault rifles, the M24 SWS 7.62 mm bolt action sniper rifle, the SR-25 7.62 mm semi-automatic sniper rifle, etc. Israel has also developed its own independent weapons industry, which has developed weapons and vehicles such as the Merkava battle tank series, Nesher and Kfir fighter aircraft, and various small arms such as the Galil and Tavor assault rifles, and the Uzi submachine gun.

Walla News reported that thieves most likely broke into the armory on the base and took away crates of ammunition on their vehicles. Now, the he main fear for authorities is that stolen weapons might end up in the hands of criminals or terrorists.

In the past one year, Army and police have taken several measures to stop theft of weapons from army bases, but it seems more efforts are needed. Three months back, 33 M16s were stolen by thieves from the Tzelim army base in southern Israel. Although police arrested all individuals involved in the incident, it is yet to recover more than half of the weapons stolen.

The IDF statement said that that the “thorough renovation of emergency systems in the IDF created a situation in which many workers and contractors were not approved in an orderly fashion.” It also stated that a new security procedure would be implemented following the recommendations of the inquiry for the employment of contractors in military bases to give the army more control over who enters.