Tags: lax | theft | ring | 6 | arrested

LAX Theft Ring: 6 Arrested for Allegedly Stealing From Luggage

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 04:36 PM

By Morgan Chilson

Police arrested six people allegedly operating a theft ring out of LAX by stealing property from passengers' luggage.

Twenty-five search warrants, many to current or former Los Angeles International Airport employees, were served Wednesday, KNBC-TV reported.

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The Los Angeles Police Department and airport police served the warrants during raids that took place at the airport and throughout southern Los Angeles County. The raids recovered multiple items, including jewelry and clothes.

Six people were arrested, four with regard to possession of stolen property and two on outstanding warrants, KNBC said. Investigators told the news station that it’s possible more people will be arrested.

“It's a disappointment, but a fact of life, that sometimes a few people will succumb to the temptations at LAX,” Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon told KNBC in a statement. "The actions of these few do not represent the nearly 45,000 individuals who work for the nearly 350 employers here at LAX."

After several thefts involving checked luggage, investigators told KABC they organized an operation between LAPD and LAX police.

“We believe that there has been a culture maybe of being able to take property that wasn't theirs, and that's what we want to put a stop to," Capt. Ray Maltez of the LAPD told KABC. "LAX police and LAPD are committed to having a safe environment for the traveling public."

The Associated Press said the months-long investigation included police offers going undercover to work among the baggage handlers at the airport and in other cities in the area.

The people under arrest in the case worked for contracting companies that handle luggage, the AP said.

As police swarmed the airport, they also were told to watch for paparazzi, which would be there to photograph the many stars who seemed to be around during the raid, KNBC reported.

Twitter photos supported the fact that Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, and Justin Timberlake were at the airport at some point during the day.

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