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  • 1 Post By Elefant&Castle

A search or an attempted theft

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    A search or an attempted theft

    I flew from HK to London. In my suitcase I was carrying, besides the usual clothes and personal articles, two uncommon things for two different people: a tin of chocolate-covered almonds, and about fifteen sealed packets of a powder which, mixed in water, makes a replacement meal for a person trying to lose weight.

    These things, or perhaps the tin of almonds on its own, must have attracted interest when they were revealed by x-ray.

    When I opened the case in London, I saw that the contents had been searched, or disturbed. The tin, which was not sealed, had been opened and the almonds, which were in a paper bag, had been taken out. There was no attempt to hide that the case had been entered: the lid of the tin had not been replaced, something else had been shoved into it, and the bag of almonds was elsewhere in the case.

    The case is protected by a combination lock. I have always assumed that it is only a protection against a casual thief, but it is uncanny how perfectly the lock can be evaded with the right instrument. There was no damage at all. After locking the combination, I had amused myself by turning the wheels to a certain number, 777; that number was still shown.

    This must have been done in HK, where I checked in fairly early; my case came out quite soon on the carousel in London. At first I thought that it was an official security search, but they would surely have required my presence for that. I now suspect it must have been an attempted theft, by someone who knew what the x-ray had revealed.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    Flying out of US, my bags are nearly always opened by TSA - they usually leave paper note that says they were there.
    They don't need you to be present - and if they can not open the combination lock they will break it.
    I have a colleague who writes the locks combination numbers on his case - because he does not want it destroyed...
    With TSA locks that is not necessary - these are locks they can open...

    shri likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    If the combination lock came with the case, it was a TSA lock. There is a fairly small number of master key combinations for them.