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Feltham baggage handler jailed for Heathrow thefts

Friday, 25 November, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

A Heathrow baggage handler has been imprisoned for rifling through passengers’ luggage.

Jailed: Alan Bardell is serving six months for stealing airline passengers' valuables.

Alan Bardall, 52, of The Gardens, Feltham, appeared at Isleworth Crown Court today where he was sentenced to six months for six counts of theft and four counts of attempted theft.

Police officers at the Heathrow Crime Squad mounted a covert operation which identified Bardall, who was responsible for routing transit passengers’ luggage to the right destinations, was stealing valuables from the bags he was entrusted with.

Detectives arrested Bardall at home on Monday 13 June, and searched his address. A Sony camcorder and a laptop were recovered. He was formally charged on 19th October.

Further enquiries established that Bardall had been responsible for stealing £2,000 worth of valuables.

In a bid to reunite the stolen electronic items with their rightful owners, officers examined the material held on them. It was established that the laptop – containing a whole year’s coursework – belonged to an American student working in Ireland. Officers were able to pinpoint the owner of the camcorder by looking at photographs held on its memory card. The hotel that the victim had been staying at was identified, and officers were then able to determine a name via the hotel and the airline manifest.

The camcorder belonged to Renate Klaus, of Austria, who had visited London with her fiancé for the first time. She took over 800 photographs during her stay.

Klaus said: “I am so grateful that I got all my property back! It was my first time in London, and I was thrilled from the city, that’s why I had taken so many pictures. Now I can be happy again and think of the wonderful London. I will certainly visit again. My special thanks go to PC Chris Ladmore. Without his help all would have been lost.”

PC Ladmore said: “Any theft is distressing, but experiencing loss following a holiday is particularly awful. We are delighted to have reunited Renate with her camcorder and more importantly her precious photo and video memories of London.”

Image via comedy_nose, Flickr.

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