More than 90 per cent of the crimes committed at Palma's Son Sant Joan airport are the work of foreigners, according to a recent report. The airport is targetted by both organised gangs and the lone individual, and most of the crimes involve stealing suitcases while the owner is distracted, pickpockets or swindling. Nearly 120 people were arrested at the airport last year and more than 90 per cent were foreigners. Last summer a gang of six persons was arrested. They allegedly flew over to the island every weekend from Malaga and picked the pockets of people waiting in queues. They were arrested after a special surveillance team was set up following a stream of complaints. A group of foreigners, mainly Algerians, would come from Barcelona on day return tickets. Others wait in the car park and when a traveller goes to pick up his car, one distracts his attention by asking for directions while an accomplice steals the cases from the car. There are also a large number of muggings at the airport and reports of items being stolen from suitcases en route from the plane to the conveyer belt. Last year, just over 1'000 crimes were reported at the airport and of the 120 people arrested, many of them were habitual offenders. Airport security is in the hands of the National Police, who have an office at Son Sant Joan. Uniformed police patrol the precinct and there is also a plain clothes investigation team.

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