Don’t be a travel victim

With the busy March break season upon us, it’s wise to take some precautions to ensure that your vacation isn’t ruined before you take off. The Peel Regional Police Airport Division, which handles Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, has issued some timely travel tips that apply to anyone travelling by air. The simple thing to remember: be aware of your luggage and valuables at all times when you are at the airport.

“Criminals go where the people are,” says Airport Division Inspector John Byrne. “You can be sure with the number of people that are going to be going through the airports during the busy March travel period, the criminals will be there as well. Don’t take your eyes off of your valuables, because ‘diversion’ thefts only take a second.”

Diversion theft rings operate in airports around the country, using various schemes ( a plea for help, mustard or coffee spilled on you, etc). to take your attention away from your luggage. They then grab your belongings, get to a waiting vehicle and go on their own vacation. As many people have discovered to their chagrin, it only takes a second.

Police are advising travellers to report any suspicious circumstances duringheir time at the airport, and offer these tips:

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you. Take travellers cheques.
  • Ensure you take your luggage from whatever vehicle you arrived in directly to the check in area.
  • If there is a line up to check in, keep your bags with you. Do not set them off to the side unattended while you are waiting.
  • Don’t set your carry on luggage down, particularly laptop computers, even when in the washroom.
  • Report any suspicious persons you notice in the terminals to police.