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Newark Airport Baggage Claim Theft Arrest: Are Your Bags Safe

It is disturbing to read about crime at the airport from hired workers, but recently it was publicized that one of the baggage screeners, Pythias Brown, was found guilty of taking laptops, jewelry, cameras and other items out of luggage that was checked before the flight. Ironically, this was found by the fact these items were being sold on ebay.

The value of the stolen merchandise is between 200k and 400k. By putting the items of camera equipment on ebay that were stolen from CNN, it turns out that an employee from the station noticed and recognized them. In other news there was also mention of cars not being secure in an off airport parking lot in the UK at Gatwick, but instead moved to street parking.

I know that the police were also able last year to arrest the person who stole ski equipment from a ski resort in Vermont, by the same method: Someone recognized his skis on ebay that had been stolen and bid on them. This enabled them to trace the skis back to the robber.

Hopefully, your flight will be fine and your luggage is intact. However, if you are missing something, check online auctions such as ebay to see if you recognize anything. It is always best to not check valuable items to begin with, but sometimes we need them for our professions or as part of our vacations. If you are on the flight and find that you get a seat that has no place in front of your seat to place luggage, take your laptop out and put that on your lap. This way, your laptop is secure in the event that it can’t fit under your seat (assuming that the overhead compartments are filled and they wish to check it). If you do have a nice, new item such as a gift for your cousin such as “Rise of the White Wolf” or “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” video games then if you can’t do it as a carry-on try to disguise it when you pack. For instance, you can place it between two books in your suitcase and put that in into a plastic bag. It is best to try to place valuables in carry on luggage however.

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1 Comment so far

  1. Linda on April 15th, 2009

    That’s scary about luggage being stolen. I know that can happen with off-site parking near airports too if they aren’t secure. Nothing is safe today.

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