Sunday, November 23, 2008

Two Baggage Handlers At LAX Arrested

Two baggage handlers at Los Angeles International Airport pilfered cameras, jewelry, MP3 players and other property from passengers' luggage for as long as a year, police said Friday.

The loot, 280 pieces of property, was recovered Oct. 30 when Los Angeles and Airport police officers arrested the men.

"They had wire cutters and they were cutting any type of security device from the luggage and removing items," Los Angeles police Lt. Peter Whittingham said.

"During the briefing of the suspects, we found they were doing this for quite some time. One admitted to doing it for a year."

The suspects, whose names were not immediately available, worked for a contractor that handles baggage for the airlines. They were assigned to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Whittingham said.

Airline officials contacted Los Angeles police when they received reports from passengers that items had been taken from their luggage.

Police began investigating and determined the crimes occurred between check-in and the loading of luggage onto planes.

Officers developed information about two employees who might have been involved and watched them.

"The employees concerned were actually seen removing items from luggage as they processed the luggage just prior to loading it in the bottom of the airplanes," Whittingham said.

Police searched their homes and found jewelry, laptop computers, digital cameras, cell phones, iPods, a variety of handbags and purses, and other items.

Some of the property has been returned to its owners, but officers will attempt today to find more victims.

The property will be displayed at the LAPD's Ahmanson Recruit Training Center at 5651 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Our intent is to, as much as possible, return the valuables to their rightful owners," Whittingham said.

Victims must bring something to identify the property, such as a crime report or receipt, or must be able to describe their property to officers before viewing it.

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Anonymous said...

ha! that's right...they inspected our bagged during our flight back to the philippines and they wouldn't let us touch our baggage anymore. and we were not able to lock our luggages again. my friend lost her swiss knife in the process.