A passenger on a recent American Airlines flight stole more than $10,000 plus two credit cards from other travelers, but didn’t quite get away with it.
Mid-air flight on Buenos Aires-Miami flight
Police were called to meet American Airlines Flight AA900 from Buenos Aires (EZE) to Miami (MIA) on the morning of July 5, 2022. According to court documents, a passenger stole more than $10,000 plus two credit cards credit to passengers seated near him.
This issue arose after flight attendants observed suspicious behavior, including a passenger repeatedly walking down the aisle and sitting for an extended period of time in a seat that did not belong to him. Another crew member observed the passenger with a wallet that appeared to belong to a woman.
The flight crew advised passengers in the area to search their belongings to see if anything was missing. A passenger confirmed that her wallet was missing $10,022 and 13,800 Argentine pesos (worth approximately $109).
Another passenger inspected his belongings after hearing about the situation and noticed that 720,520 Argentine pesos (worth about $4) and two credit cards were missing.
After being searched, it was determined that the thief was in possession of two credit cards matching the name of another traveler. Additionally, a passenger was able to identify some of the bills in his possession, based on unique stamps that some of the bills bore.
When questioned by the police, the passenger admitted that he had robbed other passengers. Kudos to the American Airlines crew for being so observant!
It happens a lot more than you think
Many travelers worry about valuables being stolen from checked baggage, but this is a good reminder to keep a close eye out for any valuables you’re bringing as hand baggage as well. If you’re traveling with more than $10,000 in currency, you should probably keep it in your immediate vicinity, rather than putting it in a bag and keeping it in a luggage rack.
Many people assume that mid-air robbery doesn’t happen much, since you’re in such tight quarters and always have your eyes on you. On the contrary, I think it often works in favor of thieves. People aren’t as observant because they assume they’re safe, people often don’t wonder if someone is opening a bag, and people often put bags behind them.
Theft in flight happens all the time – there are frequent reports of it, and then I imagine there are countless instances of it that go unreported. So always keep an eye on your hand luggage, ideally try to store it in front of you (where you can see it throughout the flight), and be vigilant.
Finally, if you are traveling with real valuables or large sums of cash, keep them very close to you – the overhead compartment is not a safe place to store them, especially if people have reason to believe that you are carrying something valuable. .
At the end of the line
An American Airlines passenger on a recent flight from Buenos Aires to Miami stole more than $10,000 and two credit cards from other travelers. Fortunately, the watchful crew caught him, so he ended up being punished. It’s a good reminder to always be observant, even in the cabin of an airplane.