To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Thursday, March 27, 2014

LAX luggage-theft probe leads to arrests of current, ex-handlers


March 27, 2014

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Authorities served 25 search warrants and made multiple arrests Wednesday night as part of a months-long investigation into luggage and cargo thefts at Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport police and other officers swooped down on a cargo facility near Imperial Highway and Aviation Boulevard near the southeast side of LAX, according to a source familiar with the operation.

Officers also served search warrants in Paramount and at a home in the 8800 block of Hooper Street in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood adjacent to South Los Angeles, the source said.

In a statement released jointly by Los Angeles Airport Police and the Los Angeles Police Department, officials said search warrents were served at suspects' homes throughout the county, where detectives seized jewelry, electronics, clothing and other personal belongings believed to have been reported stolen.

The thefts were connected to a group of people, all of whom are current or former employees of companies contracted by airlines to provide baggage-handling services, authorities said. It was not immediately clear how many people had been arrested.

Those arrested had undergone employment and criminal background checks before being authorized to work at the airport, according to airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon.

“It’s a disappointment, but a fact of life, that sometimes a few people will succumb to the temptations at LAX,” Gannon said in the statement. “The actions of these few do not represent the nearly 45,000 individuals who work for the nearly 350 employers at LAX.”

The items are being identified in an attempt to return them to their owners, according to LAX police.