LAX

Several employees responsible for handling passengers' luggage have been arrested after a months-long investigation into thefts at Los Angeles International Airport, NBC Los Angeles reports.

Authorities tell the station the workers were arrested Wednesday night after police served warrants at 25 locations in connection with the theft of items from airline passengers.

Police allege that the workers stole from fliers' luggage both inside the terminal and as bags were being transported across the airport grounds, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The Associated Press writes "the investigation, which involved officers going undercover among baggage handlers, began after a string of reports of luggage thefts from terminals, runways and planes, police said."

Los Angeles TV station KTLA says investigators participating in Wednesday's raids recovered jewelry, electronics, clothing and other personal belongings believed to be stolen from passengers.

"These items are currently being identified in an attempt to return them to their owners and to assist them in the prosecution of identified suspects," airport police say in a statement to KTLA.

"We believe that there has been a culture of being able to take property that wasn't theirs, and that's what we want to be able to put a stop to," Capt. Ray Maltez tells KABC-TV.

Most of the arrested workers "were primarily employees or ex-employees of contracting companies hired to handle luggage and do not work for the airport itself," AP writes, citing Assistant Chief Michael Hyams of the airport police.

"It's a disappointment, but a fact of life, that sometimes a few people will succumb to the temptations at LAX," airport police Chief Patrick Gannon is quoted as saying by KTLA. "The actions of these few do not represent the nearly 45,000 individuals who work for the nearly 350 employers at LAX."

L.A. TV stations broadcast footage of police raiding airport terminals Wednesday night as part of the sting. The reports showed numerous people being led out in handcuffs, some wearing the yellow safety vests typical for airport ground workers.

The search activity at LAX centered on the Tom Bradley International Terminal and at Terminal 4, which houses American Airlines, American Eagle and some Qantas flights, according to AP.

 


Tags:  LAX
Posted by USAtoday.com on 03/28/2014 at 9:36 AM - PERMALINK | ADD YOUR COMMENT | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe

Detectives late Monday were investigating how four dry ice bombs -- two of which exploded -- were placed in restricted areas at Los Angeles International Airport.

A dry ice bomb exploded Monday about 8:30 p.m. in a section accessible only to employees near the gate of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, law enforcement authorities said.

Two similar devices were found in the area. All three were bottles with dry ice inside, according to LAX police.

The devices appeared to be outside the terminal near planes, according to television news footage.

No injuries were reported, police said, adding that there was minimal disruption of normal airport activities.

On Sunday night, a dry ice bomb exploded about 7 p.m. in a restroom at Terminal 2, which is home to several international and domestic airlines.

Officials said an airport employee heard an explosion in a men's room and went to investigate. He discovered a 20-ounce plastic bottle that had contained the dry ice. The blast did no damage, and no injuries were reported. 

That area is also off limits to the public, police officials said.

On Monday night, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Criminal Conspiracy Section were investigating how the bombs were placed in security areas. 

"Apparently there is no nexus to terrorism right now," LAPD Det. Gus Villanueva told The Times.

The FBI was assisting the LAPD in the investigation.

Depending on the circumstances of the crime, suspects could be tried in state or federal court once they are arrested and charged, said Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman in Los Angeles.



Tags:  dry ice bombsLAX
Posted by LAtimes.com on 10/15/2013 at 6:03 AM - PERMALINK | ADD YOUR COMMENT | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
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