A man has been sentenced to serve eight weeks in jail for stealing a passenger’s bag from a train.
Scott Anthony Rickson, aged 35, of Cawthorne Road, Barnsley, was caught on CCTV boarding the train at Wakefield Kirkgate on January 16 this year and placing his own bag in the luggage rack.
Shortly afterwards as he prepared to leave the train at Barnsley, he was seen picking up his own bag from the rack before bending down again to take a rucksack and another bag both belonging to the victim.
Rickson was sentenced to eight weeks in prison and was also ordered to pay compensation to the victim and court costs totalling £374.
Investigating officer PC Andy Jones from British Transport Police, said: “Most incidents of luggage theft are purely opportunistic and while there was little the victim could do in this instance to have prevented the theft, we would advise passengers to try to keep a watchful eye on their belongings at all times.
“Hopefully Rickson’s custodial sentence will make him think twice about stealing other people’s property in the future.”
This conviction comes as part of BTP’s Operation Magnum, a nationwide crackdown on the theft of passenger property on the railway. As part of the initiative, BTP has set-up a dedicated website, http://www.btp.police.uk/theft, with video clips to help the travelling public spot the most common tricks thieves use.
There are a number of steps people can take to keep their property as safe as possible when on the rail network:
•Keep purses secure and carry wallets in an inside pocket.
•Zip up hand and shoulder bags.
•Carry bags in front of you, with flaps against your body.
•Keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm.
•Don’t display jewellery, mobile phones and MP3 players.
•Don’t show your money - keep it safely in your pocket.
•Stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you when using your phone in public.
•Keep your luggage close by and check it regularly.
If you think your property has been stolen on the rail network stay calm and don’t panic. Report it to a member of transport staff or a police officer straight away or call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016. In an emergency, always dial 999.