Yuriy Ruvinskiy appeared in Richmond provincial court on Thursday for a sentencing hearing. He pleaded guilty in August to eight theft charges.
Crown Counsel Gerri-Lyn Nelson said a jail sentence is warranted, noting the breach of trust included 28 separate incidents between Feb. 16 and March 8 this year.
She played videos for the court showing Ruvinskiy pocket cash, including a US $100 bill, and personal items, like a cellphone, in repetitive, systematic and skillful ways.
"The sleight of hand is interesting, the careful body blocking ... it's all quite deftly done over a series of days," she said, noting Ruvinskiy also manipulated the bins that carried travellers personal contents through screening devices so they were in a favourable position.
Over a span of 24 minutes on Feb. 16, Ruvinskiy committed five thefts, said Nelson.
The stealing came to an end March 8, when a traveller from Indonesia who was heading to Edmonton noticed a US $100 bill missing from his wallet after a pre-boarding screening, said Nelson.
The tourist spoke to Ruvinskiy's supervisor who called in the RCMP, she said.
A constable reviewed security video, witnessed the theft of the cash and cellphone, noticed Ruvinskiy's lack of hesitation and level of calm and recommended a review of all security videos of the dates he worked, said Nelson.
She said even though Ruvinskiy has no criminal record and has lost his job, the sentence must denounce the offences and deter others from committing them.
Nelson said restitution isn't an option because the victims were travellers, and not everybody knew exactly what or how much was taken from them.
Judge David St. Pierre has adjourned the case until next Thursday when the court will fix a date for defence counsel to make submissions.