An Elephant and Castle couple were caught “brazenly” stealing luggage at Heathrow airport, police have revealed in shocking footage today, in a bid to warn to other passengers.
Criminal duo Daniel Kennedy, 54, and Denise Blackburn, 45, of County Street, were caught on camera as they carried out the bag theft at a phone shop in Heathrow Airport on October 31, 2018.
The CCTV footage shows the pair laughing and watching their targets – a couple who had just landed from Ghana, before appearing to discuss their plans.
As the unsuspecting passengers turn their back, Blackburn stood next to one of the victims at the shop counter to block their view – while accomplice Kennedy brushed past the luggage, stealing a handbag from the top.
The bag contained a large quantity of money, jewellery and both victims’ passports.
Investigating officer, PC Jon Houston from the Met Police Aviation Policing Command, said the footage was a reminder to passengers to keep luggage in sight at all times.
“It’s easy to be distracted at an airport as our minds are often on other things, and luggage is cumbersome to carry around, but the benefits of keeping your eyes on your bags far outweigh the distress and disruption caused by them being stolen,” he said.
The duo then led police on a “ludicrous” attempt to throw them off the scent, driving themselves into the carpark but having their son, Ryan Kennedy, 19, drive them out while they hid in the backseat covered in a jacket.
But police trawled through CCTV footage and identified the couple, arresting Blackburn and Ryan Kennedy at their home address.
Officers recovered some of the victims’ money and jewellery from the house, including an Armani watch which Blackburn was wearing at the time of her arrest. They also discovered a “quantity of cannabis.”
Daniel Kennedy was also arrested a week later.
All three pleaded guilty to their crimes at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, 25 February.
Daniel Kennedy was jailed for two years for theft, driving otherwise in accordance with a license and driving with no insurance.
He is also disqualified from driving for 16 months. A suspended sentence of eight months’ imprisonment relating to a previous conviction has also been activated, meaning he will serve a total of two years, eight months behind bars.
Blackburn was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, for theft and cannabis possession.
Meanwhile, the couple’s son, Ryan Kennedy, was conditionally discharged for 12 months and has been disqualified from driving for a year, for driving while disqualified, driving with no insurance and possession of cannabis.
DCI Sharon Brookes, of the Aviation Policing Command, said: “I am pleased that my team were able to return some of the stolen items to the victims.
“The Met Police is determined to keep people flying in and out of the UK safe from opportunists like Blackburn and Daniel Kennedy.
“The victims sent a message of thanks to PC Houston for his work and I was delighted to read that, subsequently, they will continue to holiday in the UK.”