Airport thieves stealing luggage

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  CathayLoyalist2 30 Aug 2018
at 08:42
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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

  • Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Interesting piece in The Times

    Airport thieves steal thousand bags a year

    More than 1,000 pieces of luggage are stolen from airports each year amid warnings that an increase in hand luggage carried through terminals makes it an easy target.

    Figures from police forces show that more than 5,000 thefts have been reported in the past five years. This includes luggage stolen from baggage reclaim areas and security zones.

    There are some good tips about reducing the risk of theft or minimising its effect by readers at the bottom.

    I like this one.

    Chris Huckle: I pack my suitcase with several kilos of heroin so that the thief gets a nasty shock as he’s stopped going through the green channel…and many years to contemplate the error of his ways while languishing in cell block H.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    That and pickpockets make airports a dangerous place to hang around in. I try to get air-side or to the taxi as quickly as possible.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I cannot remember the last time my checked baggage was verified on arrival against the bag tag issued at check in, I think it might have been in Saudi Arabia in about 2005. It used to be done regularly when inbound at ZA airports, this certainly doesn’t happen any longer.

    With international flights it would mostly be difficult for a thief to obtain access from landside to the baggage area, but there are some airports where you can walk into domestic baggage reclaim and out again with no check taking place.


    stevescoots
    Participant

    I cannot remember the last time my checked baggage was verified on arrival against the bag tag issued at check in, I think it might have been in Saudi Arabia in about 2005. It used to be done regularly when inbound at ZA airports, this certainly doesn’t happen any longer.

    With international flights it would mostly be difficult for a thief to obtain access from landside to the baggage area, but there are some airports where you can walk into domestic baggage reclaim and out again with no check taking place.

    happens often in airports in China and Vietnam, i would say at least 70% of my arrivals get checked


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    I cannot remember the last time my checked baggage was verified on arrival against the bag tag issued at check in, I think it might have been in Saudi Arabia in about 2005. It used to be done regularly when inbound at ZA airports, this certainly doesn’t happen any longer.

    With international flights it would mostly be difficult for a thief to obtain access from landside to the baggage area, but there are some airports where you can walk into domestic baggage reclaim and out again with no check taking place.

    It happens in China, and is good.

    Reminds me that about 15 years ago when we were in the UK, our neighbour’s son had a summer job at BHX in baggage handling. The old hands trained the youngsters to identify bags going to the same hotel at holiday destination, open the bags and swap towels around. They explained this as a great laugh that everyone could enjoy. Not theft, but…..


    Gin&Tonic
    Participant

    As does Jakarta


    esselle
    Participant

    Flew in F on BA from HKG some years ago. Checked bag in at HKG. Picked up bag from carousel at LHR and went home.

    Trying to open bag at home, it became clear combination lock had been picked. Once I managed to get bag open, it was clear that many items (Hermes ties, Charvet shirts, Lobb shoes etc) had been taken.

    BA stonewalled saying the bag (passes through many different hands on the way back from HKG to LHR) and thus they were not responsible.

    Eventually my employer’s insurance coughed, but the BA response then was lamentable.


    canucklad
    Participant

    Just back from Malta to find that my long expired BA Gold Tag missing from my case ,which was taken off me and put in the hold.
    This was a topic ages ago, but worth reminding people that there is a thriving e-bay market for these tags .

    I wonder, does LHR still have the nickname Thieverow ?

    Theft from hand luggage on the ground and in the air is becoming more and more commonplace, thanks mainly to the advent of the LCC’s.

    Alicante is seemingly a hotspot for the 21th century Artful Dodgers ….High flying petty criminal s pay next to nothing to fly in from Madrid, in the morning . Lurk about airside looking for inexperienced, more than likely weary hungover holidaymakers heading home caught off guard, feeling safe because they’ve just passed security !!

    Having harvested rich pickings off the poor holidaymakers they return back to Madrid or whenever not to been seen again. With Schengen multiple Madrid many times over !!


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Canucklad’s post highlights another reason to end the Schengen Agreement. It is a charter for criminals of all types.

    There was a video made some years ago of baggage handlers at JNB systematically going through suitcases whilst in transit. No big surprise there. Most people I know who transit that airport use the plastic wrapping service.

    Checking bag tags makes a lot of sense, but would be time consuming and irritating. I once innocently and inadvertently picked up someone else’s identical Samsonite off the carousel on arrival at CPT, and only when I got it home did I realised it wasn’t mine. Luckily it was labelled and I could tell from the phone number that the owner was in the same suburb. I called the number and her mother answered the phone and said :
    “It’s my daughter who has just arrived from London and she’s in floods of tears because someone has stolen her suitcase.”
    Rather awkward, but I was able to explain and walk round to their house with the suitcase – mine of course was still at the airport!


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Something similar happened to me Capetonian flying George to JNB with Kalula.
    I picked up my bright red Samsonite (or so I thought) and headed off to Swiss to check in. The bag was on the scales and tagged when my phone rang to tell me they had my case and a very impatient Afrikaner (as I discovered) wanted his case back! 2 more minutes and it would have been down the chute.

    I didn’t have the courage to go back myself so being a coward and on the pretext of a bit of a gammy leg I sent my boy, figuring they wouldn’t be angry with a young lad! He told me they literally snatched it from him without a word and stormed off.


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    I didn’t have the courage to go back myself so being a coward and on the pretext of a bit of a gammy leg I sent my boy, figuring they wouldn’t be angry with a young lad!

    Me too…. I would’ve sent Mrs GivingupBA – she would’ve handled it well (while I was cowering behind a pillar)…


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Its not just the thieves at work, but as several people have pointed out, bags being taken in error. My son had his golf clubs taken in error in MCO a couple of years back.

    A solution would mean another Q to leave the baggage collection area. Would passengers put up with another check before leaving the terminal.

    I know in Vietnam bags are always checked they are with the correct owner, but can you imagine the hassle this will cause at the larger airports. I wonder what solutions the Forum can come up with.

    As far as I am aware, bags leaving the terminal is the only part of air travel process where bags are not checked…


    rferguson
    Participant

    I think it must happen a lot in the USA – mainly because the baggage collection areas for domestic flights are open to anyone that wants to walk into the terminal – you don’t have to be a passenger.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Tramor01
    Participant

    I was told this story by some government friends in Hanoi. Not long after the new international terminal at Noi Bai was opened, they had quite a lot of problems with theft from passengers bags. Nothing was done to remedy the situation, until one day, the Hanoi Chief of Police flew home from overseas. When he got home, he found that all the “electronic goodies etc.” he’d brought had gone missing. Needless to say after this experience the level of security at Noi Bai was increased 😀


    Charles-P
    Participant

    There was a US program shown some ago on Belgian TV that showed how at some airports police were placing so called ‘bait’ suitcases designed to be attractive to thieves and of course able to be tracked by the police. On the first day of operation at Miami the first thief they caught was an airport private security guard who had been employed to ………… stop theft of bags.

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