First class thief arrested
Saint-Denis - A Frenchman who sold on the internet objects stolen from first class flights has been arrested in the airport on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, police said on Saturday.
The 28-year-old photographer, based in Canada, would travel first class on Air France and other carriers and disembark with a stash of airline napkins, glasses, plates, blankets and anything else he thought he could sell online, according to French police.
A complaint from Air France alerted the authorities to the practice and led to the first-class pilferer's arrest on Friday.
He is alleged to have made some $13 000 from selling on his ill-gotten gains from Air France alone over the last three years.
The suspect admitted his offences and has been allowed to remain free pending his court appearance, a judicial source said.
However he must stay on the island where he will be tried.
His online selling was the key to his capture, as he was identified through his internet protocol address.
The virtual search became a very real search as he was discovered with more stolen airline goods in his baggage on Reunion island after leaving an Air France flight.
Investigations are continuing into whether the arrested man was part of a larger ring and to look into his activities beyond Air France flights.