Don’t fall victim to organized crime at airport security

Airport security

Don’t let the crowds at airport security distract you. Source: Shutterstock

DID you know airports are rife with thefts?

They are generally safe places, thanks to the high security, but even that is not immune to some criminal activity.

Airports can be confusing places with plenty of distractions, and understandably so – a squirt of perfume here, a nibble of a new Toblerone flavor there, all the while rushing to your gate.

Still, it’s imperative that you don’t let your guard down until you’re at your destination, and even then, don’t let your valuables out of your sight.

Look away for a second too long and you could be the victim of theft at airport security.

As was the case for Antonia Collins, who had around US$580 worth of valuables stolen from her hand luggage.

“I was devastated,” Antonia, told the Daily Mail.

Collins had reportedly splurged on designer makeup and accessories for her trip. But by the time she cleared security and received her full pat-down, everything she had put in the scanning trays had vanished.

“The airport staff was unsympathetic and it was horrible feeling that someone close by had taken them,” Collins added.

The Guardian also recently published the story of a student who had her laptop and dissertation stolen at London City Airport.

Both instances shared the commonality of airport staff taking a painstakingly long time to do anything about the theft.

Trays often emerge quicker than passengers through security and that’s when thieves strike.

Often, they are professional criminals who purchase cheap airfares to gain access to security.

It’s likely they wait in the wings until they spot their prey and slyly follow an easy target through security.

By the time a victim realizes their belongings have been made off with, it’s too late.

But there are ways to prevent this from happening.

Firstly, do not leave cash, electronics or jewelry in plain sight. Hide them under a jacket or in a bag.

Secondly, consolidate all your carry on items into one bag and make a mental note of all the loose valuables in the tray.

Thirdly, if you set the beeper off and require a search, stay calm, comply and watch every tray that comes out of the x-ray machine.

Lastly, purchase a small lock for your carry on bags. This may appear suspicious, but wouldn’t you rather have your bags rifled through by trained security and not professional thieves?