Crackdown on baggage thefts

PUBLISHED: 10:19 08 December 2006 | UPDATED: 21:27 29 May 2010

EIGHT men were arrested on Monday after a crack down by police on baggage theft at Stansted Airport. Management at the airport and baggage handling company Swissport have been working in partnership with Essex police for some time to gather intelligence a

EIGHT men were arrested on Monday after a crack down by police on baggage theft at Stansted Airport.

Management at the airport and baggage handling company Swissport have been working in partnership with Essex police for some time to gather intelligence and identify patterns of theft of goods from luggage coming through the port.

Items passengers had reported as going missing from their luggage included small electronic items such as i-Pods, cameras and mobile phones, jewellery and duty free goods such as alcohol, cigarettes and aftershave.

Twelve warrants were executed leading to the arrest of eight men at addresses in Essex and Suffolk.

Areas of the airport were searched early on Monday morning and boxes of cigarettes were recovered.

Various searches of residential addresses were carried out where some cigarettes and electronic items, believed to be stolen, were recovered.

A spokesman for Swissport said: "We pride ourselves on providing a quality service to airline passengers.

"Our staff and all airport workers, are thoroughly vetted to comply with Department for Transport and airport operational requirements and the majority are hard working, trustworthy individuals.

"Our work with Essex police is a demonstration that we will not stand for any staff abusing the trust that is placed in them and we will continue to work in partnership with police to send the message that we will not tolerate any type of baggage crime."

The men arrested on Monday are aged between 19 and 33, two from the Epping area, two from the Braintree area, three from the Chelmsford area and one is from the Haverhill area of Suffolk. A ninth person, a 22-year-old man from Maldon, was arrested on Tuesday morning.

At the time of going to print, one man from Monday's arrests remains in police custody, and seven others are on police bail until January 24, 2007.

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