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November 11, 2011

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Flight nap warning after thief is jailed

DOMESTIC flight passengers are being warned to make sure their possessions are secure before taking a nap, after a man was jailed for robbing a fellow traveler.

The man, surnamed Zeng, was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing cash on the plane and for carrying four fake ID cards, Changning District People's Court said yesterday.

He was also fined 2,000 yuan, the court ruled.

Zeng stole 14,800 yuan (US$2,334) from the bag of a passenger, surnamed Wang, on a flight from Tianjing to Shanghai in April.

He hid the money in a newspaper and placed it under his arm.

Minutes later, Wang checked his bag in the luggage compartment and discovered his money was missing.

Wang asked Zeng to show him what was concealed in the newspaper but Zeng refused.

The pair had an argument during which the newspaper fell to the ground and the stolen money spilled out.

Police also seized four forged ID cards from Zeng, increasing his sentence from six months to three years.

This is the most recent in a spate of similar incidents on domestic flights in recent years.

The court said it has sentenced more than 20 people for stealing from travelers on aircraft since 2007 and urged passengers to be vigilant on flights.

Chinese businesspeople are the main target as they often take a large amount of cash with them and many take a nap during the flight, leaving bags unattended.

The court also appealed to airports to strengthen their checks on passengers who buy tickets with the country's first generation ID cards, as many thieves used fake ID cards to board the planes.


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