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Two men were sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to pickpocketing more than £40,000, or more than $56,000, from travelers in London airports.

The Romanian nationals Niculae Ion, 21, and Niculae Avram, 46, had pickpocketed flyers at London Luton Airport (LTN) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The investigation into the duo began last year after a businessman reported his wallet with £3,000 in cash had been stolen. Authorities received other reports of theft in the airports, including credit cards being stolen and used for fraudulent purposes.  

Two thefts occurred at Luton and another four at London Heathrow’s terminal four and five.

“These men are highly skilled pickpockets, with none of the victims having any idea where or when they had been targeted,” Police Constable Niall Hamshere said. “They had deliberately targeted transport hubs where their victims were vulnerable to their skills.”

The duo were arrested at London Luton Airport after returning to the UK from Romania on February 27. Both men had past convictions for similar crimes in Germany and other European countries.

Incidents like this serve as a reminder to always stay vigilant no matter where you are — including airports that feel safe with the loads of security present.

“We always urge vigilance against pickpockets, particularly in busy areas such as airports, and would ask anyone who thinks they are a victim of a similar offense to get in touch with us,” Hamshere said.

H/T: Luton Today

Featured image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

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