A passenger on an American Airlines flight allegedly stole more than $10,000 in cash and two credit cards from people on the plane.
The flight crew reported Diego Sebastian Radio behaving suspiciously during the nine-and-a-half-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Miami. Radio ‘repeatedly walked up and down the airplane aisle’ and sat on a seat that he was not assigned to for part of the journey, according to crew members.
Radio was also spotted clutching ‘what appeared to be a female wallet’, according to the Daily Mail.
Once the plane landed, Radio was patted down and had his backpack searched. Authorities found $10,732 in cash as well as 14,320 in Argentinian Pesos, worth about $110. In addition, they discovered two credit cards that did not belong to him.
Authorities also interviewed crew members and asked passengers to check if they were missing belongings from their carry-on luggage. Two passengers said that they had cash and credit cards missing, and that one of their wallets was unzipped.
The credit cards Radio had matched the names of two passengers, according to court documents.
Radio was arrested by US Customs and Border Patrol.
He has been slapped with theft charges.
According to travel blogger Ben Schlappig, who runs One Mile At A Time, theft on flights is more common than most passengers believe.
‘If you’re going to travel with $10,000+ in currency, you should probably keep that in your immediate area, rather than stuffing it into a bag and keeping it in an overhead bin,’ said Schlappig.
‘Many people assume that inflight theft doesn’t happen much, since you’re in such tight quarters, and you always have eyes on you. Quite to the contrary, I think that often works in the favor of thieves.
‘People aren’t as observant because they assume they’re safe, people often won’t question if someone opens a bag, and people often store bags behind them.’
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