1. ITV Report

Pair jailed for stealing luggage from Heathrow holidaymakers

A pair of opportunistic thieves have been jailed for stealing £25,000 worth of luggage from holidaymakers.

Gissella Caceres Diaz and Juan Abdon Flores Valenzuela Credit: Met Police

Gissella Caceres Diaz, 27, and Juan Abdon Valenzuela, 50, took unattended bags from holidaymakers in the arrival and departure lounges at Heathrow Airport.

The pair brazenly strolled off with six bags during separate raids between March and October.

It is thought the pair even checked in the stolen bags as they flew back home.

CCTV image of bag being stolen Credit: Met Police

Police believe the pair had flown into the UK especially to target holidaymakers.

They were both jailed yesterday at Isleworth Crown Court for three years between them.

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It's very easy to be distracted at a busy airport but you can help keep your luggage safe whether you're in the UK or abroad by always keeping it on you or within your line of sight.

If you are carrying a large quantity of cash, keep it on you. If you must pack it in luggage, then spread it out between multiple bags.

The Met has a very close working relationship with the airports it polices. Together we will do all we can to keep the airports safe and to identify and bring to justice anyone who targets passengers.

– PC Tom Blair, Aviation Policing Crime Squad

The thefts only came to light after the pair were spotted by officers patrolling Heathrow Airport recognised the duo from CCTV footage and arrested them.

Officers have now released footage of one of the brazen thefts which they shows how easily bags can be stolen when not kept in sight.

The footage from March this year shows the victim sitting at a coffee shop in an arrivals lounge, with her back to her luggage and her handbag under her seat.

Caceres Diaz is seen standing next to the luggage to shield Flores Valenzuela from view as he makes several attempts to scoop the victim's handbag from beneath her, using a walking stick as a hook.

He successfully got the handbag and its contents which totalled more than £9,500.

Caceres Diaz and Flores Valenzuela, pleaded guilty to six counts of theft at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on November 8.

Yesterday at Isleworth Crown Court Flores Valenzuela was jailed for two years and Diaz was jailed for 12 months.