Sunday, November 20, 2011

iPad Theft at DFW Underlines Need for Passengers to NOT CHECK High-Value Items

Frederica Williams, 35, of Dallas, was arrested in a police sting operation on Friday (November 18) in Terminal C on suspicion of stealing a US$600 iPad.

In contrast to numerous cases we've cited in recent months where airport employees have stolen high-value items from checked luggage, airport security at DFW in this case left the iPad out as bait.

COMMENT: Williams was one of many people at the airport employed by Prospect Airport Services, a company hired by airlines for a number of baggage and other services, including help with lost-and-found items. Three other people who worked at DFW Airport have been arrested on suspicion of theft in the past 16 months.

Henry Ibarra, a former member of an American Airlines clean-up crew, was arrested in August 2010. Police seized 171 items from his house valued at $7,500. He is accused of stealing items such as iPods, DVD players and cameras off planes and from luggage. Ibarra worked for American for 41 years.

In September 2010, police arrested Denmark Masumoto, an 11-year employee of American Airlines, on suspicion of stealing a passenger's laptop. Police said they found numerous items commonly stolen from travelers' luggage and from planes inside Masumoto's residence.

An American Eagle baggage handler was also arrested on suspicion of stealing jewelry from travelers' luggage in August 2011.

Both novice as well as seasoned air passengers need to be reminded that since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandated shortly after the events of 9/11, that checked luggage be UNLOCKED, theft from checked luggage has increased. Consequently, it is vital that digital camera, MP3 players, smart phones, laptop computers, electronic readers and devices such as iPads NOT be placed into CHECKED luggage.

No comments: