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Crackdown of Luggage Theft at LAX Nets 6 Arrests

More arrests are anticipated. The airport's police chief said it was a disappointment that "a few people will succumb to the temptations."

Police detained 14, arrested six in connection with a suspected theft ring. Patch file photo.
Police detained 14, arrested six in connection with a suspected theft ring. Patch file photo.

Six people were arrested in a crackdown stemming from a months-long investigation into thefts of property from aircraft and passengers' luggage at Los Angeles International Airport, police said today, adding that more arrests are likely.

Investigators from the Los Angeles Airport Police and Los Angeles Police departments served 25 search warrants beginning Wednesday night, targeting current and former workers for baggage-handling companies contracted by airlines at LAX, officials said.

According to police, of the six people arrested, four were taken into custody on suspicion of receiving stolen property and two for outstanding warrants. A total of 14 people were detained for questioning during the crackdown.

Police seized items including jewelry, electronics, clothing and other personal belongings believed to have been stolen at the airport. Detectives were working to identify the items in hopes of returning them to their owners.

Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said the suspects in the alleged theft ring all underwent criminal background checks before they were authorized to work at the airport.

"It's a disappointment, but a fact of life, that sometimes a few people will succumb to the temptations at LAX," Gannon said. "The actions of these few do not represent the nearly 45,000 individuals who work for the nearly 350 employers here at LAX."

The investigation was conducted by the LAX Joint Crime Task force, which includes Airport Police and LAPD detectives.

--City News Service


George Vreeland Hill March 27, 2014 at 04:48 PM
I read about this in the Times. It is a shame when you can't trust airports with your possessions. I hope LAX takes steps to this does not happen again.
mimi March 28, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Can air travel get any worse? Lost planes, stolen luggage, terrorists, dirty seats,blankets & pillows. What part of air travel is still appealing?
Andrea March 28, 2014 at 01:18 PM
Unfortunately, it's still the only means of transportation to some destinations!
mimi March 29, 2014 at 01:02 PM
Andrea- Correct up to a point. If people stopped vacationing at destinations that require air travel, the financial impact would be enormous, if not catastrophic. Then watch how fast air travel will improve.

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