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Couple gets fine for taking life vest from airplane as souvenir

By Mason White 3:01 PM December 3, 2015
The suspect (circled) 

By: Wayne Morin
An elderly woman was arrested after she was found in possession of a life vest that belonged to an airplane.

The elderly couple of China, was fined HK $2,000 ($250) after being convicted of stealing the life jacket from a Cathay Pacific airplane.

The woman defended herself by saying that she simply assumed that the vests were provided to each passenger and if it was not used during the flight, it can be taken home as a souvenir.

The 64-year-old woman of Shaanxi, was on her way home from Taipei, Taiwan, with a stopover in Hong Kong.

When they passed through airport security in Hong Kong, officials found the life jacket worth HK $360 ($46) tucked in their luggage.

Police were called and the woman was arrested. She admitted to taking it from the airplane. She was brought to the Tsuen Wan Magistrates’ Court, where she told the court that she was unaware that it was forbidden to take the life jacket.

Magistrate Cheang Kei-hong was not impressed with the defense of ignorance.

He said that the real crime is not in the monetary value of the life vest, but in the fact that if the airline had not found the life vest to be missing, then the life of another passenger could have been endangered in the case of an accident.

The defense attorney said that it was the responsibility of the airline to check the number of life jackets on their planes. The judge said: “The airline can’t predict that someone would be so out of line as stealing a life jacket.”

The woman pleaded guilty to the charge and was ordered to pay a fine of HK $2,000 ($250).