A former police community support officer from south-east London who stole thousands of pounds by tricking departing air passengers into thinking they were carrying too much cash could be facing jail.
Alexis Scott approached travellers as they were about to go through the final gate at Gatwick in Sussex and asked how much money they were carrying, police said.
She convinced some that they were carrying more than the maximum amount allowed and “confiscated” the balance, before reassuring her victims they could claim it back when they returned.
The 39-year-old then placed the money under her uniform hat and headed back to the police station.
The scam was uncovered when returning passengers began asking airport officials for their money back. Scott, of Plumstead, was arrested in May last year.
After a police investigation she was accused of stealing more than £15,000 from seven victims.
After a trial lasting more than three weeks, she was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court of six offences of theft and one of misconduct in public office, while she was found not guilty of one count of theft. The charge she was cleared of related to an alleged theft of around £1,500.
Scott was remanded into custody ahead of sentencing.
Following the verdict Deputy Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said: “Sussex Police expects the highest personal and professional standards of everyone who works for us.
“Scott fell woefully short of those standards, abusing the trust that we had placed in her, but more importantly, the trust of the public and in particular, the victims of her crimes.
“Passengers and other users of Gatwick Airport rightly expect that those who wear the uniform of Sussex Police do so with integrity and honesty.
“Scott failed in this simple requirement and has been duly punished, but this mustn’t be allowed to reflect upon the professionalism, honesty and integrity of other employees of Sussex Police who work tirelessly and selflessly around the clock.
“This was a complex and detailed investigation of an audacious act, but any such act will not be tolerated and we acted swiftly and decisively as soon as it came to light.”
After internal disciplinary proceedings in July last year Scott was dismissed from her job, which pays a basic salary of between £18,500 and just over £20,000 a year.