The thing about owning expensive jewelry, watches and pricy electronics is that if any of it goes missing after it’s been placed safely in your luggage, you’re going to notice. There’s no Bermuda Triangle of personal possessions that can be blamed for vanishing items, only human beings. In one recent case at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, seven baggage handlers have been accused of forming their own force of nature designed to disappear valuables and cash.
All seven baggage handlers were rounded up after El Al Airlines noted that there were a heck of a lot of complaints coming from their passengers about iPpads, iPhones, cameras, a Cartier watch, cash, a Sony Playstation and more had gone missing, reports the New York Daily News.
The high volume of complaints prompted the airline to install a surveillance camera in the baggage hold of one of the 747s that makes regular trips between JFK and Israel. Officials say the workers were caught on tape going through bags and simply pocketing whatever caught their fancy, say court documents.
Most of the thefts occurred between April and August, when police say the suspects would put on gloves, unzip the bags while still in the plane’s hold and peruse their contents. One of the workers was even wearing a watch he’d allegedly stolen when he was arrested, say cops. Several other missing items were found at the workers’ homes and cars, added authorities.
The suspects confessed to their crimes and were arraigned late last week on grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property charges.
It’s sad to say we’re not exactly surprised — we’ve seen plenty of misbehaving baggage handlers before, especially at JFK, where 200 items are said to be pilfered per day.