Airport cleaners caught stealing from luggage

A pair of cleaners were caught red-handed pilfering from passengers' luggage at an airport, police said today.

Covert cameras caught Anthony Currant and Abul Hussain, both cleaners at Luton Airport, opening bags and stealing from them as they travelled along a luggage belt before getting to the main carousel.



Bedfordshire Police said Currant, 65, of Bolingbroke Road, Luton, and Hussain, 30, of Claremont Road in the town, were both handed custodial sentences after each admitting six counts of theft by an employee.



Currant was sentenced to six months in jail last Friday at Luton Crown Court, and Hussain was given three months at an earlier hearing, police said.



A spokesman said covert footage showed the men rifling through passengers' bags as they passed through an enclosed room on the luggage belt.



The pair were caught in a police sting in February, after the hidden cameras were put in the room where the belt carousel passes through with bags from inbound flights.



Footage showed the two cleaners opening bags as they travelled along the belt and stealing from them before the luggage was collected by passengers in the main baggage reclaim concourse.



Since their arrests, recorded baggage pilferages - claims of thefts or lost property from passengers' luggage - have dropped on average by 77%, police said.



Sergeant Steve Farrer, of London Luton Airport Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "The custodial sentences issued to both these individuals sends out a very clear message that crime will not tolerated at the airport.



"Travellers can be reassured that we take the security of their luggage very seriously.



"With an average of around 700,000 passengers travelling through the airport each month and around seven pilferages now being recorded each month, this makes up a very small percentage of all baggage handled.



"To be on the safe side we recommend holidaymakers lock their cases, keep all valuable items in their hand luggage and report any missing items to their respective airlines in order for these to be investigated."







A spokeswoman for Luton Airport said: "London Luton Airport notes the court's decision and is pleased that the matter has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion.



"As it involved people working for an independent contractor, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?