A travel agent who suffered serious injuries when a man she was working with stole her possessions during a robbery at a Melbourne airport has told the ABC she could have been the victim of a hate crime.
Key points:Travel agent ‘should have been able to see he was going to do something’Melbourne Airport’s security team was on standby for the suspect when he arrived in the loungeMs Vlahos’ story will resonate with thousands of travellers who are worried about the rise of so-called “hate crimes”.
She says she was walking towards her desk when she was approached by the suspect, who approached her from behind, grabbed her bag and pulled her belongings out of her pockets.
“He grabbed the money, the credit card, the mobile phone and then he just grabbed my bag and went and got everything,” she said.
“I could have possibly been the one who was robbed, but I can’t think about that.”
Ms Vrahos was working at Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 5 on December 13, 2018.
The suspect was wearing a white shirt and a dark jacket, and the bag he was carrying was a blue bag.
The man was not seen again.
The victim, who was not identified, had been working at the airport since September 2018, and she was not wearing her security badge.
“That’s what scared me the most because I knew there was no way he could have taken all my things without me knowing,” she told the station.
“We’re talking about things I’d probably need to bring to a bank and pay for.”
Melbourne airport is a key hub for overseas visitors, particularly Australians.
The airport has a significant presence of Muslims, with about 40% of passengers arriving from overseas.
It was also a prime destination for the holidaymakers in the city who were among the first to arrive after the country began restricting overseas arrivals.
But the security situation at the Melbourne Airport has worsened, with reports of an increase in reported crimes and assaults on travellers.
“They could have seen he was coming for a robbery,” Ms Vlahas said.
Ms Pohle’s case will be broadcast on Channel Nine’s Crimes at Work program on Sunday, which is sponsored by the Australian Women’s Council.””
I could easily have been in his sights, but he did not see me and I just thought I was safe.”
Ms Pohle’s case will be broadcast on Channel Nine’s Crimes at Work program on Sunday, which is sponsored by the Australian Women’s Council.
“It is a really important story,” she says.
Ms Tumman said the community would be encouraged to voice their concerns about travel safety.””
There is a huge amount of anger about it, and I think it is a big topic in our society.”
Ms Tumman said the community would be encouraged to voice their concerns about travel safety.
“There is definitely a fear that we may not be safe from crime.
We have a large number of people working here and the crime rate is higher than many other places,” she explained.”
So it’s very important to voice that concern to us.”