Around 21 million passengers came in and out of the North Rhine-Westphalian (NRW) airport, Düsseldorf, in 2012. Of these, 1,000 reported that their bags had been stolen.
Yet Frankfurt, the country's largest airport and Europe's third largest, had only 671 cases of stolen luggage among its some 57 million passengers, a study by online travel portal reisen.de revealed after examining figures at 18 of the country's airports.
Mere miles away from Düsseldorf, Cologne-Bonn airport registered just 24 bag thefts among its 9.2 million travellers. Munich, an airport with 38 million passengers, came in second place, registering 600 thefts.
The Express NRW regional newspaper, which reported the study, asked police why thieves seemed so active in Düsseldorf.
“They feel comfortable because there are too few officers on patrol. Too many colleagues, also in local police forces, would rather just drive around instead,” said a long-term officer who did not want to be named.
The paper dubbed Düsseldorf as the “El Dorado” of bag theft, while reisen.de suggested that crime looks to be rising there.
In Munich, though, incidents have risen the most with the number of bags being stolen rocketing from 413 to 600 between 2011 and 2012.