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Miami baggage handlers videoed stealing from passengers' baggage

Posted on April 14, 2015 6:00 PM EST

A new story right out of Miami International Airport may change the way you view travelling by plane. A recent investigation and hidden camera uncovered baggage handlers rifling through passengers’ bags, taking whatever they pleased.

The baggage handlers had no idea that they were being taped on a hidden camera. The camera was set up by the Miami-Dade Police Department as a part of an ongoing investigation into luggage thefts suspected to be committed by airport baggage handlers.

Police Lt. Pete Estis said that it’s a problem that we all face. He said that they will continue to be proactive until they can see that the claims of pilfered luggage decrease.
Miami Aggressively Goes After ThievesMiami International Airport is not the only airport plagued with insider thefts. According to a CNN analysis of passenger property loss claims filed between 2010 and 2014 by the TSA, there were over 30,000 claims of missing valuables, most of which had been packed in checked luggage.

Where did the rest come from? Security checkpoints. The total property loss claimed was $2.5 million.

Of all of the airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York was #1 with the most claims of thefts from passenger luggage, followed by Los Angeles International, Orlando International, and Miami International, according to the data.

The problem was so serious at JFK that in 2013, El Al Airlines placed a hidden camera in a baggage hold, which captured baggage handlers stealing watches, iPhones, an iPad, cameras, jewelry and cash. Six of the people arrested pleaded guilty to petty larceny or possession of stolen property, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
Miami Aggressively Goes After ThievesMiami International Airport is aggressive against thieves. Since 2012, the police have arrested over 30 baggage handlers and ramp workers, six of which were arrested this year.

Last year, police placed a hidden camera inside of the belly of a plane; the camera caught baggage handlers sifting through luggage and stealing a variety of items. Meanwhile, another hidden camera captured a baggage handler rifling through luggage while one of the security guards looked the other way.

Patrick Gannon, police chief of Los Angeles International Airport said that he thinks that if we don’t pay attention to the small things that happen around the airport, it could lead to much larger things. He believes there is a connection between baggage theft and terrorism.

Are you facing charges for a theft-related crime in Miami? To work with an elite legal team that has handled thousands of cases with outstanding results, contact our firm today!