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Air France stewardess stole from passengers while they slept

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-07-21

An Air France stewardess has been found guilty of relieving First Class passengers of jewellery and cash while they slept, piling up loot worth tens of thousands over a period of months.

Police have arrested French air stewardess Lucie R. (her identity is protected) in Tokyo on suspicion of stealing from First Class Air France passengers while they slept.

Investigators have been examining a series of airplane robberies after five passengers complained that 4,000 euros (5,170 dollars) in cash had been stolen from them on board an Air France flight between Tokyo and Paris in January, earlier this year.
Far East flights targetted
A pattern of thefts began to emerge, as police discovered that thousands of euros, credit cards, and expensive jewellery had gone missing on more than 140 flights between France and the Far East.
Police caught the light-fingered air hostess after cross-checking the passenger lists from the 142 flights on which the thefts had occurred, a police source told French newspaper Le Figaro.
Questioned by French border police, Lucie R., aged 47, confessed to the 26 thefts.
Robbed while they slept
Her plan had been simple: while passengers were asleep, she would simply rummage through the bags and pockets of her victims, stripping the passengers of their valuables. The targets, the newspaper reported, were business class passengers, usually Japanese nationals, who travelled with “cash rather than credit cards”.
The stealthy stewardess had also hidden some bank notes and cheques at her home, securing some of the jewellery in a safety deposit box in Rouen where she lives, according to the French newspaper.
During her interrogation, she confessed that she began stealing on planes in March 2009 after getting into financial difficulties.
FRANCE 24 contacted Air France but the airline refused to comment, stating that the case will be dealt with by the courts.


Date created : 2010-07-21