Dear All ,

>           Plse. take 2 minutes of your time to read the message below.
> Times are hard , and many turn to CRIME ........

> This can happen on any airline going to any destination. These are
> very hard times for a lot of people!!!
>  True event (we know the guy who wrote this).
> I would like to draw your attention to an attempted robbery on a
> flight into Hong Kong last week.
> With an hour to go, during the flight, I thought I noticed my bag
> being replaced in the overhead locker......I wasn't sure and decided
> it was probably a fellow passenger, moving it to access their own bag.
>  I dismissed any thought of any wrong doing, but upon arrival in HK,
> something told to me to retrieve the bag, just to make sure nothing
> suspicious had occurred. When I opened the overhead locker (not above
> me) and saw my leather bag was the only one occupying the space I knew
> there was a problem.
>  I examined the content, only to find all of my wife's jewellery,
> along with some cash had been stolen, during the flight.
>  I raised the alarm and my wife and I quickly blocked both aisles to
> stop anyone at the back of the plane disembarking....there were around
> 120 passengers....
>  My wife and I both shouted for assistance from the stewards and
> stewardesses. Eventually a steward told me that security had been
> called but passengers were becoming very agitated and unwilling to
> show patience or understanding....they just wanted to get off the
> wife and I were the only people controlling the
> passengers.
>  I pleaded with the passengers to check their own bags at which point
> three fellow travellers reported they had also been robbed.  It was
> only at this point, did I see any evidence from the cabin crew that
> they were willing to provide any meaningful support.
>  I vaguely remember seeing a passenger wearing black, sporting a white
> base-ball cap and pleaded with the rest of the passengers to see if
> they could remember anyone fitting my description.
>  It turned out to be a passenger standing in front of me, who once
> identified proceeded to offload money, jewelry, camera equipment and
> false documents, running into tens of thousand, if not hundreds of
> thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods.
>  By this time security had boarded the plane, the Captain had been
> informed and was standing in the rear section watching the events
> unfold.
>  Eventually a policeman boarded the plane and I was able to explain
> the events leading up to my apprehending the thief. I have since been
> informed this criminal activity is reaching epidemic proportions and
> the authorities caught three thieves, just last week, (with 30 already
> on remand since early December) on flights into HK, with all the
> criminals coming from the same town in China.
>  It is estimated that only 5% are being caught judging by the reports
> of passengers contacting the police after they have arrived at their
> destination.
> They sit in the back row of the plane observing where bags are behind
> or away from the passengers and systematically pull them from the
> overhead lockers, while passengers rest or watch movies, take them to
> the back of the plane and steal any valuable contents.
> They prey on foreign airlines as the penalties are so lenient, the
> pay-off makes it worth the risk.
>  I naively have never thought of robbers operating on planes, but now
> I have experienced it first hand, there are a few takeaways:
>  1. Hand luggage should ALWAYS be locked.
>  2. Do not assume luggage under your seat is safe....last week one
> passenger had her purse stolen by the guy sitting next to her while
> she slept !!
>  3. If in doubt, wear or keep any valuables ON YOU at all times !!
>  4. Don't assume, like me, that everyone on a flight is a law-abiding citizen.
>  5. Do not assume business class travel is secure....robbers can be wealthy.