April 8, 2016 10:04 pm
Updated: August 4, 2016 8:07 pm

RCMP using bait bags to crack down on baggage theft at YVR

WATCH: Global News has exclusive details of a possible theft ring ripping off luggage from the domestic terminal of Vancouver International Airport. Rumina Daya reports.

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An increase in baggage thefts at Vancouver International Airport has prompted Richmond RCMP to start using “bait bags” to catch thieves.

“I’m always impressed by YVR in so many ways compared to most other airports, but this lack of secure area as you leave the departures is one of the weakest points you’ll see in any terminal,” says Larry Issac.

The freelance sports producer says one of his bags was taken from carousel number six in February, after an Air Canada flight from Calgary to Vancouver.

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“Bags have never been stolen from me before…it shocked me,” says Issac.

Global News has learned that at least 30 suitcases have been stolen from the domestic arrivals terminal since late January. The luggage carousels are not in a secure zone, and anyone from the public has access.

“All other airports you are still in the secure area as you go down the escalator. But [at YVR], thieves come off the SkyTrain platform and just blend in on the escalator as if they’re a fellow passenger. Not only do they have access..but they can come down with passengers on the escalator,” argues Issac.

The problem is so prevalent that Air Canada and the RCMP launched a ‘bait bag’ program in early February to catch the crooks. Richmond RCMP would not comment on the program, but say they are investigating, and that two people have been arrested and charged with theft under $5,000.

But Issac’s bag is still missing – and he’s hoping this situation forces YVR to increase security at the baggage carousels.

“It’s one area they have to fix up,” he says.

“This could be the trigger that gets them to remedy that aspect of it.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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