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April 21, 2014

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Passenger arrested over theft from aircraft locker

A PASSENGER on a flight to Shanghai has been arrested after cash went missing from luggage in an overhead locker.

The 50-year-old man, surnamed Bai, is said to have taken 8,700 yuan (US$1,397) from the bag of a sleeping passenger on a flight from Shenzhen in the southern Guangdong Province.

He is said to have hidden the cash in a sick bag when airport police approached him.

This was among six cases of in-flight theft reported last month. In one incident, HK$200,000 (US$25,792) was taken from a traveller’s bag.

Bai is said to have rushed to the door after the flight landed at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on March 24.

Airport police had been awaiting the flight’s arrival. They stopped the man and asked passengers to check if any belongings were missing.

A male passenger, surnamed Luo, reported the loss of 8,700 yuan left in a bag in the overhead locker while he had a nap.

Police searched the aircraft and found the money in a sick bag in a seat’s storage pouch.

Bai was identified as the suspect by passengers and taken to the airport police station.

Police say Bai told them some airline passenger didn’t pay attention to their bags stored in overhead compartments, offering him a chance to snatch the valuables.

Pretending to get his own bag, Bai opened Luo’s bag and stole the money, said police.

Police identified that Bai, a bus pickpocket who had been jailed for 8 months, was on the flight and decided to check it.

Also last month, a passenger surnamed Chen, who was carrying HK$400,000 to Macau, discovered that there was only HK$200,000 after he got off the plane. Police are still investigating the case.

“We focus on passengers flying to Hong Kong and Macau as many carry large amounts of cash and luxury items,” said an airport police officer.

He said similar thefts occurred on international flights.


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