Airport theft ring suspected

UPDATE: Saturday 8:55 a.m.

RCMP say a woman arrested at Vancouver's airport for allegedly stealing a passenger's purse is believed to be part of an organized group of thieves targeting airports.

The Mounties say the 60-year-old woman was arrested by Vancouver airport RCMP officers in conjunction with an ongoing undercover theft investigation.

The RCMP says plainclothes teams have been at the airport conducting surveillance since March for theft issues primarily at the international arrivals terminal.

Police say other law enforcement agencies besides the RCMP are interested in the accused and have been involved in the investigation.

RCMP say the woman is in custody and police are looking at the possibility of linking her with multiple thefts.

RCMP Inspector Keith Bramhill says in a statement that thieves who specialize in theft at airports generally work in teams and divert attention from passengers to steal valuables.

– The Canadian Press


A theft that took place at Vancouver International Airport has caught the attention of a number of detachments.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on April 17, police officers from Richmond RCMP YVR Detachment arrested a suspect in conjunction with a theft investigation.

Investigators watched the suspect allegedly stealing a purse from a passenger in the international arrivals terminal.

The suspect, a 60-year-old woman, is a foreign national. She is believed to be part of a larger, organized theft group travelling from airport to airport.

Richmond RCMP YVR Detachment has been deploying undercover teams to conduct surveillance on these types of crimes originating from March of this year.

The accused is being held in custody till Court on April 18, 2019.

“Suspects that specialize in this work generally work in teams and employ techniques to divert attention from their true purpose – to steal valuables away from their owners. They are acute observers of people’s behaviour and their habits. They are often difficult to identify and detect as they are extremely good at their craft,” said Richmond RCMP YVR Operations Officer, Inspector Keith Bramhill.  

“If a theft has been reported, it is largely after the fact. The suspect or suspects have long since vanished with police working hard to play catch up. We are fortunate to have experienced officers that knew exactly what to look for. Their timing was impeccable,” adds Insp. Bramhill.

Police would like to remind people to be mindful of their personal effects and valuables at all times. Report any suspicious activity immediately to police.

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