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Why we should never put items of value in our checked luggage

We have all heard the reports of valuables being stolen out of our luggage, however many travelers still ignore this valuable piece of information which has been told time after time for as long as man and woman has traveled.  While luggage is designed to carry our clothes, travelers should never place an item of value inside checked luggage if it is irreplaceable - especially photographs, important papers, laptops, or other items which would be difficult to replace.  Over the years, their have been numerous reports of dishonest airline baggage handlers, hotel clerks, and train employees who have been caught removing items of value from checked luggage, and the majority of time, these thieves are rarely caught.  This is due to the fact that many times it is difficult to determine where the pilferage of luggage actually occurred - especially with the numerous ways a dishonest employee can enter your locked luggage without your knowledge, even if it is locked.

Another threat of luggage pilferage comes from other thieves who have found luggage pilferage an easy way to get cash or sell items stolen from these checked bags - and some thieves are very ingenious in the ways they have found to steal from checked luggage.  For example, in a recent report, a skilled set of luggage thieves in Spain found an ingenious way to steal valuables from checked luggage.  In a report dated June 8, 2011, a flexible thief squeezed into a large suitcase and then emerged to plunder valuables from other bags while inside the luggage compartment of a Spanish airport bus, police say. The thief had a partner who would buy a bus ticket and place the suitcase in a bus from Girona airport to Barcelona in northeastern Spain, police said in a statement late Tuesday.

"Once the trip began, he would get out of the suitcase, search for valuable objects and hide them in a smaller bag he carried with him," regional Catalan police said. The thief would then get back into the suitcase, to be reclaimed by his partner at the end of the 90-minute trip. Alerted by the repeated thefts, police inspected a suspicious bag on the bus on June 3 and opened it up. "They saw there was a man doubled up almost like a contortionist," the statement said. The thief had a mobile phone, a small bag and a sharp object to open zips and locks, police said. Spanish police officers boarded the bus and detained the man who had left the suitcase in the luggage compartment.

While this is a unique way to steal, and abet one that is not done very often, think about how many times these thieves were successful in stealing from other travelers before they were caught.  What if you were one of those on that airport bus and within your luggage, you had placed your digital camera, or digital camera card with all of your trip's photographs inside your luggage, and the camera, or memory cards were stolen?  While the world would not come to an end, you would however, never have the joy of looking at pictures of your wonderful memories again.  Hence, why we should always remember the tried and true statement...never place items of irreplaceable value in your checked luggage.

Our site contains over 100 pages of travel safety tips and security tips that are useful for any traveler. You will find tips involving luggage theft, avoiding pickpockets, laptop theft, hotel burglary, and airplane, train, automobile, and boat travel crimes.