U.S. News


Police Arrest 6 In LAX Bag Theft Investigation

Police arrest six and detained an additional eight suspects accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of items from passengers bags.
Posted at 6:43 PM, Mar 27, 2014

Authorities at Los Angeles International Airport arrested six workers suspected of stealing thousands of dollars of items from passengers' bags.

Police detained an additional eight suspects they allege took expensive items such as jewelry and electronics from bags in secured areas of the airport for several months. (Via KTTV)

LAX Police Chief Pat Gannon told the Los Angeles Times: "Most of the thefts occurred at the end of a complex system of conveyor belts that deliver luggage. As the suitcases are loaded into carts on a platform, the suspects would search them for items they could quickly sell."

Policed served more than two dozen warrants across the city, including at the airport. They seized property at some of the suspects' homes, which they are now attempting to return to its rightful owners. (Via KNBC)

The suspects did all pass background checks, meaning they didn't have any prior felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records when they were hired.

They also didn't work directly for the airport or airlines. Instead, they were either employees or ex-employees of independent contractors, including several from Menzies Aviation, which the airlines hired to handle luggage. (Via KCBS)

Now, if this news makes you not want to let your bags out of your sight any more, KTLA has an idea of something you can do to combat a potential scheme like this.

"You can still put those tiny locks on your luggage, but they have to be TSA approved, the TSA has to have the master lock, to get into the luggage in case they want to inspect them."

​The majority of the alleged thefts took place at Terminal 4 and the Tom Bradley International terminal. LAX handles approximately 55 million pieces of luggage each year.