Japanese holidaymaker arrested after stealing woman's handbag at Thai airport

A Japanese tourist was arrested after allegedly stealing a handbag from a woman as she ate in an airport restaurant.

Takeuchi Hiroki, 56, was seen on CCTV picking up the handbag which had been left on a table at a stand at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, on January 1.

The female traveller, who had just returned from South Korea, was standing up to get food when her bag was taken. She reported the missing bag which had two passports and 80,000 KWN (52 GBP) inside to the police.

She said: "I had dinner with my friend at the restaurant at the terminal and put my handbag on the table. I didn't notice it was taken, but when I ordered food and came back to the table, it was gone.''

Airport officers arrested Hiroki a few hours later in the early hours of the morning on January 2.

CCTV footage shows a man in a grey T-shirt and jans carrying the stolen bag and hiding it behind a food stand. He then returned to collect it after a short time.

Officers traced Hiroki through the airport and arrested him at around 4:30 am. They said he admitted stealing the bag.

Police Lieutenent General Chettha Komolwattana said: "The Japanese tourist admitted taking the bag but he claimed that he did not know where he left it.

"Initially, we planned to charge him with theft but after we checked CCTV, we saw he had been in the airport for 45 days so we will charge him for overstaying his visa.''