British thief who targeted rich air passengers jailed for a year

Ruth Doherty
British thief who targeted rich air passengers jailed for a year
British thief who targeted rich air passengers jailed for a year

Stock photo, Charles de Gaulle: PA

A thief who made a living out stealing airport luggage from 'rich-looking Africans' has been jailed for a year.

The Nigerian-born Briton, known only as John, would fly into Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris at least twice a month to carry out his stealing missions, where he would target "anyone who appeared rich", but particularly African politicians, according to a report in the Metro.

It is thought he targeted Africans because of his own background, finding it easier to go unnoticed.

He would sleep in the corridors of the airport, or at cheap hotels, and rifle through bags at Terminal 2C.

One of his biggest plunders was a bag containing the equivalent of £67,000 in cash, which belonged to a former prime minister of Chad.

He also stole items belonging to the owner of a leading Parisian fashion house.

But police caught up with his antics after setting up a surveillance operation last month, which filmed him stealing a suitcase belonging to a passenger from Cameroon.

He was arrested on 25 April and was filmed on CCTV carrying out nine thefts.

Airport theft is a common problem but, last year, one man was caught going to extra lengths to steal from air passengers in Barcelona.

Spanish police arrested a contortionist who reportedly smuggled himself in a case onto Barcelona airport coaches so he could burgle the luggage compartment.

An alleged accomplice was also arrested after the man was found 'doubled up almost like a contortionist' inside the case.

Police made the discovery after a string of passengers complained of theft on the same shuttle service.

They believe the man was loaded on to the coaches by his accomplice, who would then reclaim him after the 90-minute return trip to Barcelona's Girona airport.

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