FIVE people have been arrested after they were caught stealing tourists’ bags at Malaga airport.

The thieves were operating in two groups, laying wait in the car park of the airport where rental vehicles are collected.

In one group were three people of French-Algerian nationality, and in the other, two from Serbia, the Policia Nacional said in a statement on Monday.

Both groups had been targeting distracted tourists while they were loading up their rental cars.

In some cases, the criminals would pose as terminal workers or pretend to be travellers with backpacks. 

Other incidents saw some members of a group trying to distract the tourists, while another member stole their luggage.

Malaga Airport
Thieves are targeting tourists in the rental car park of Malaga airport (Credit: Malaga Airport)

The two Serbians were caught in the act, at Malaga airport, and multiple objects were seized including hats and wigs, which they had used as disguises, as well as tools to pick locks and €1000 in cash.

On further investigation, national police confirmed that one of the members of the group, a 49-year-old man, had two previous convictions of similar crimes at Madrid and Barcelona airports.

The second group of three was also arrested after they were tracked to a hotel in the capital, and charged with two counts of theft. 

One of the members, a 30-year-old man, was already wanted by police in Barcelona for two previous airport thefts. 

All those involved in the crimes have been given a 1000 meter restraining order, preventing them from approaching Malaga airport.

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