Four robbed at Madrid's Barajas airport every day
23 January 2006, MADRID — An average of four robberies a day take place at Madrid-Barajas airport, where thieves use a variety of tactics to lighten the load of passengers distracted by the process of arrival or departure, sources told EFE.
23 January 2006
MADRID — An average of four robberies a day take place at Madrid-Barajas airport, where thieves use a variety of tactics to lighten the load of passengers distracted by the process of arrival or departure, sources told EFE.
Madrid police declined to comment on the number of robberies reported during 2005 in the capital's airport, where some 300 officers are deployed as well as 800 Civil Guards (militarized police), and 500 private security agents, the sources said.
According to the latest information provided by Spanish Airports and Aerial Navigation (AENA), Barajas was the Spanish airport that handled the most travellers in 2005, with a total of 41,963,197 passengers.
This meant the daily average was 114,967 passengers. Some 22,000 people work there.
According to airport sources, check-in counters are the thieves' favourite hangouts.
One source said: "While the passenger leaves his belongings on the ground or in the cart to take out his or her ticket, the thieves seize the opportunity to steal briefcases, laptops, or whatever they can."
Sometimes dramatic tricks are used, such as the one in which an older person and a youth work together.
"The older person fakes a fall or a fainting fit, and when someone comes to his aid, the younger person takes advantage of the confusion to rob him," the spokesperson said.
In some cases children "sneak into the boarding area through the legs of the passengers, and once inside they steal whatever they can, both from passengers and from the shops. Adult robbers go there too, even buying tickets to travel."
According to sources "once in the boarding area they spend three to four hours robbing whatever they can and hiding it in the false ceilings of the lavatories.
"When they have finished, they leave as arriving passengers through the luggage areas and sometimes even return their air tickets."
Parking lots at Madrid-Barajas Airport are also "thieves' country" where luggage is often stolen, for which reason the airport sources recommended that passengers and those accompanying them pay attention to loudspeaker messages warning them to keep a watchful eye on their belongings at all times.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news