Busy, crowded airports can be a prime target for theft. While security measures at airports are in place to minimize luggage theft, sometimes theft is as easy as walking into baggage claim and grabbing bags off the carousel.
TIA Officials Catch Luggage Thieves
Tampa International Airport (TIA) had received complaints from different individuals about luggage being stolen over the course of three days. Ten total bags were reported.
While baggage claim is a public space, airport officials are trained to look for suspicious behavior. Airports are also equipped with security cameras, police officers, and Transportation and Security Administration officers. An undercover investigation at TIA two years ago illustrated the ease of taking a bag from baggage claim, which prompted the airport to take measures to increase baggage claim security.
Surveillance footage taken at TIA ultimately led to airport detectives to the home of a Tampa couple. The detectives informed the couple they had until a certain time to return the bags to the airport. The bags were returned later that day. The couple submitted to questions, confessed to the thefts, and were arrested.
They are being charged with four and five counts of grand theft. Both the man and woman charged have a history of drug and assault arrests in Florida.
TIA has reunited luggage with their owners and took inventory on what was missing from the bags.