BANGKOK – Authorities at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport have arrested an Australian man for allegedly stealing a Thai passenger’s luggage at Suvarnabhumi airport.
Security officers arrested John Robertson on Saturday as the 54-year-old Australian stood at a bank’s foreign exchange bank counter in the departure hall – along with a luggage trolley belonging to a Thai passenger.
The arrest followed a complaint filed with police by a woman from Chiang Rai, whose name was withheld, that her trolley – loaded with three bags – was stolen after she left it outside a toilet on the fourth floor of the departure hall.
Police and airport authorities checked CCTV footage and saw a man – identified as Mr Robertson – taking the trolley into a restroom for the disabled nearby, and then walking to the foreign exchange booth, where he was captured.
The Australian admitted taking the trolley and opening the bags, police said, but denied stealing anything inside. He told the police that he was travelling to Australia from Thailand.
A check of the man’s travel record revealed that he had frequently entered and left Thailand over the past 12 years. He stayed in Bangkok and Hua Hin district in Prachuap Khiri Khan while in the country, according to the police.
The woman from Chiang Rai checked her belongings and did not find anything missing before continuing her journey to Dubai, police told the Bangkok Post.
Pol Capt Sitipong Panthaisong, the deputy superintendent of Suvarnabhumi Airport police station, said on Sunday that Mr Robertson faced a theft charge and he is being detained at the police station.
A theft charge carries a fine from 2,000 to 10,000 baht and a jail term from one to five years.
Pol Capt Sitipong said the suspect was arrested about one hour after the complaint was lodged, after police and airport authorities checked the CCTV footage and tracked him down.
Pol Capt Sitipong and deputy Suvarnabhumi airport general manager Kittipong Kittikajorn advised passengers to pay extra attention to their bags and luggage trolleys. Travellers should not leave them unattended when they go to a toilet, he said.
They should leave them with their travel companions or with any airport security officer, Mr Kittipong said.
By Sutthiwit Chaiyutworakarn and Saritdet Marukatat
The Bangkok Post