14 Detained in LAX Baggage Theft Investigation
Authorities said Thursday that they suspect at least 14 baggage handlers at Los Angeles International Airport of stealing thousands of dollars in electronics, jewelry and other high-priced items from bags and other property at the airport, LA Times reports.
Police allege that the thieves worked in tandem for at least several months, then selling some of the items on Craigslist.
Detectives are still trying to tally the total losses and identify victims, but LAX police arrested six workers and detained an additional eight suspected in the crimes. In all 25 search warrants of homes and lockers attached to the individuals were searched Wednesday.
“We have multiple companies that deal with baggage at the airport for airlines. But one company had more reported thefts in their terminals than the others and so we began investigating their baggage workers,” said Los Angeles International Airport’s Police Chief Pat Gannon in the LA Times article. “At any airport there are always thefts of baggage, but we knew this was prevalent at Bradley and Terminal 4.”
Those arrested and detained worked for Menzies Aviation, which said in a statement that it believed the alleged thefts were “limited to a handful of employees, acting independently.” Menzies also said its employees go through background checks by the company, LAX and U.S. Customs and Border Protection prior to employment, and undergo extensive training to “perform their jobs safely, efficiently and with integrity.”