A man has been caught on CCTV stealing €8,000 (£7,200) from an airport security tray at Rome Fiumicino Airport.
Footage from Italy’s border police, the Polizia di Stato, caught the passenger, dressed in a white shirt, snatching the money from another passenger's airport security tray.
In the CCTV footage, both passengers are seen moving through the metal detector, dropping their belongings off in the plastic trays first.
When they come through the scanner, the man is seen watching the cash, in two envelopes, go past him for a moment before picking it up.
The owner of the money, dressed in a pink t-shirt, is then seen searching for it, oblivious to the fact that a fellow traveller has pocketed it. Airport security staff are then seen helping him search for the money, which the police said was to be used to pay for medical care for a member of his family.
In a statement, the police said that the thief “took advantage” of the “moment of distraction” of the other passenger at airport security to steal the cash. It added that the man stashed the stolen money inside an airport bathroom, to pick up on a return journey.
The man was arrested by the border police after being identified by CCTV, and tracked down as he was about to board a flight to Russia.
“The money was recovered and returned to the passenger,” said the border police.
Although valuables are sometimes left for several minutes in airport security trays, episodes of theft at airport security at UK airports are "extremely rare", according to the UK's Airport Operators Association.
“Airports work closely with their security staff and local police forces to ensure that the nearly 300 million passengers that travel through UK airports every year do so in a safe and secure environment," a spokesperson for the Airport Operators Association told The Independent. "Thanks to this secure environment, incidents at UK airports are extremely rare. Airports will continue to focus on providing passengers with peace of mind during their travels.”
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