Serial thief boarded 200 flights in 110 days, targeting airport passengers

Serial thief boarded 200 flights in 110 days, targeting airport passengers

Serial thief boarded 200 flights in 110 days, targeting airport passengers

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A new style of theft emerged as the Delhi Police uncovered a series of robberies committed by a man who boarded over 200 flights within 110 days, stealing jewellery worth lakhs from unsuspecting passengers. 

The elaborate scheme came to light when several victims reported missing valuables from their handbags and cabin bags while travelling.

The modus operandi of the thief, identified as Rajesh Kapoor, involved targeting passengers taking connecting flights, particularly focusing on elderly and women travellers. Kapoor meticulously observed his victims’ behaviour at airports, often requesting seat changes to position himself strategically next to the targeted passenger during the flight.

Operating across airports in Delhi, Hyderabad, Amritsar, and other major cities, Kapoor utilized various tactics to execute his thefts. He would discreetly gather information about the valuables inside the bags by reading baggage declaration slips or observing passengers at boarding gates.

Once seated near the target, Kapoor would feign adjusting bags in the overhead section, creating opportunities to steal jewellery and other valuables while passengers were occupied with boarding procedures. To avoid detection, he provided fake contact information to airlines and conducted his illicit activities with precision.

Rajesh Kapoor was arrested from Delhi’s Paharganj after cops scanned CCTV footage from Delhi, Hyderabad, and Amritsar airports. The accused told the cops how he executed the crime for a year in one of the most highly secured areas in the country – airports – and managed to escape.

Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police, Usha Rangrani, said the man targeted passengers who took connecting flights. For example, the woman travelling from Hyderabad to Delhi in April had to board a connecting Air India flight to the US from the IGI Airport in Delhi. 

Similarly, the US resident, Varjinderjit Singh, was travelling to Frankfurt, Germany from Amritsar and had a connecting flight from Delhi

Upon his arrest from Delhi’s Paharganj area, police recovered a significant amount of stolen gold and silver jewellery from Kapoor’s residence, in addition to uncovering his involvement in selling stolen items to a jeweller in Karol Bagh. Kapoor, who previously operated as a thief in trains, transitioned to airport thefts, exploiting the vulnerabilities of unsuspecting passengers.

Rajesh Kapoor’s intricate scheme underscores the challenges posed by sophisticated criminals in highly secure areas such as airports, prompting authorities to enhance security measures to safeguard travellers from such incidents in the future.