Police bust gang of thieves at Rome airport

Gang of 12 thieves targeted wealthy foreigners at Fiumicino airport.

A gang of 'professional' thieves which targeted wealthy passengers departing from Rome's Fiumicino airport has been caught by the airport's border police.

The gang comprised 12 Algerians, who preyed mainly on Russian, Asian and Arabian passengers, regularly carrying out brazen thefts in Italy even though they resided permanently in France and Spain.

Police arrested five members of the gang, while another seven face charges, after months of undercover investigations at Fiumicino and around Rome's central Termini train station.

The thieves were adept at disguising themselves, changing clothes in a matter of minutes, and passing themselves off as real passengers, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The gang hired low-cost rental cars and stayed in budget accommodation near Termini, at foreign-run addresses that failed to record the details of their guests, in violation of the city's anti-terrorism laws.