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An airline passenger has been arrested and is facing charges of theft after American Airlines cabin crew suspected he had snuck cash and credit cards from nearby passengers in one of the highest crimes of the century.
According to the crew on the flight from Buenos Aires to Miami, Diego Sebastian Radio was seen 'repeatedly walked up and down the aeroplane aisle' during the nine-and-a-half hour flight, even sitting in a seat that wasn't his own for a part of the long journey.
The flight staff who were suspicious of his behaviour alleged that he was later seen holding "what appeared to be a female wallet."
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Radio was apprehended by customs upon arriving in the United States, after having been reported to the U.S. Customs & Border Patrol by the crew.
The passenger was given a pat down once the flight landed in Miami and authorities discovered $10,732 in dollars and 14,320 in Argentine Pesos in his backpack along with two credit cards worth around $110 (£91) together.
Radio was subsequently arrested, and is now facing charges of theft.
Court documents detail how the cards found in Radio's backpack match the names of the two passengers on the flight.
The passengers involved were asked to check if anything had gone missing from their carry-on luggage, with both confirming that cash and credit cards missing. At least one of them also discovered that their waller had been unzipped as well.
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Though Radio's case might seem like a rare occurrence, travel blogger Ben Schlappig – who runs the site One Mile At A Time – confirmed that theft onboard an aircraft is actually more common than you'd think.
He explained that being in close quarters where "you always have eyes on you," actually makes it easier for inflight theft to take place, since everyone lets their guard down assuming they are safe.
He added: "People aren’t as observant because they assume they’re safe, people often won’t question if someone opens a bag, and people often store bags behind them."
He advised that it's important to keep an eye on your carry-ons and store them in front of you rather than behind.
He said: "If you’re going to travel with $10,000+ in currency, you should probably keep that in your immediate area, rather than stuffing it into a bag and keeping it in an overhead bin. The overhead bin isn’t a safe place to store them, especially if people have a reason to believe you might be carrying something valuable."
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