bjorn14
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Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:49 pm

Local CBS tv station is reporting that 200 bags a day are stolen by airport/airline employees.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/03/...aggage-scandal-200-thefts-per-day/

That's basically one 737/320 a day full of bags. How is that possible?
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STT757
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:41 pm

I forget the exact numbers, but there is also a ridiculous amount of car thefts at the area airports. If your a criminal in the area where would you go? Lot's of unattended cars for days on end, and lots of luggage stuffed with gifts etc..
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
kl911
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:45 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
also a ridiculous amount of car thefts at the area airports. If your a criminal in the area where would you go? Lot's of unattended cars for days on end, and lots of luggage stuffed with gifts etc..

But cars are unattended outside, while bags should be inside, protected. This means employees steal bags?? Dont they have cameras everywhere?
 
Flighty
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:55 pm

Quoting kl911 (Reply 2):
This means employees steal bags?? Dont they have cameras everywhere?

Correct. The truth is, there should be federal marshals stationed airside to catch criminal behavior at such a sensitive facility. They would have plenty to do.
 
WestJet747
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:59 pm

Quoting kl911 (Reply 2):
But cars are unattended outside, while bags should be inside, protected.

Exactly. There's a difference between having something stolen by a thug in a parking lot and an employee paid to handle the property they're stealing.

I'm curious, how do they get the baggage out after their shift? It must look awful suspicious watching baggage handlers leaving work with baggage still in their hands!
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andrefranca
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:09 pm

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 4):

I know that at GRU airport months ago dozens were arrested by the federal police cause they used to do the following:

1- Get random bags from international flights and x-ray them, if they saw something cool they'd drop on the national flights belt in instead of the intl one
2- obviously the bag would be there rolling alone on the carousel
3- the airline employee would get the bag and state it was a rush bag
4- the employee used to bring the bag until the airline LL department, steal and then manifest the bag as "lost" or "forgotten".
 
EricR
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:01 pm

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
I forget the exact numbers, but there is also a ridiculous amount of car thefts at the area airports. If your a criminal in the area where would you go? Lot's of unattended cars for days on end, and lots of luggage stuffed with gifts etc..

Slightly off topic, but this is one reason why I remove my garage door opener and anything in my glove box that contains my address (ie. car registration) before leaving my car in the parking lot. A thief could steal the car and then have easy access to your home. In essence, they could rob you twice.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 4):
I'm curious, how do they get the baggage out after their shift? It must look awful suspicious watching baggage handlers leaving work with baggage still in their hands!

Several years ago there was an undercover news story about baggage thefts by AA employees in MIA. Based on the footage, it appeared that employees entered and exited the facility with little oversight.
 
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STT757
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:26 pm

Quoting andrefranca (Reply 5):

1- Get random bags from international flights and x-ray them, if they saw something cool they'd drop on the national flights belt in instead of the intl one
2- obviously the bag would be there rolling alone on the carousel
3- the airline employee would get the bag and state it was a rush bag
4- the employee used to bring the bag until the airline LL department, steal and then manifest the bag as "lost" or "forgotten".



I think this is probably the scam that dirty employees are running all over the world, including JFK. Put the bags on the wrong carousel and have your boys pick them up.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
citationjet
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:11 pm

Quoting EricR (Reply 6):
Slightly off topic, but this is one reason why I remove my garage door opener and anything in my glove box that contains my address (ie. car registration) before leaving my car in the parking lot. A thief could steal the car and then have easy access to your home. In essence, they could rob you twice.

That is also the reason it is not a good idea to have your GPS programmed to "Home". Your GPS will take the car thief directly to your house, then he opens the garage door with your opener. Couldn't make it any easier for them. I know of someone who had their car stolen from a church parking lot. The thief knew he had at least an hour to get to the home, and get out.
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srbmod
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:21 pm

I know that here at ATL there has been problems with luggage theft from the baggage claims because there isn't anyone checking bags as people walk out of the baggage claim area (the same is true at most airports and makes it easier for crimes of opportunity). They run stings all of the time and catch thieves either walking out of the terminal with a bag or catch them n one of the bathrooms in the terminal going through a stolen bag and taking out anything of value.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/lugga...tolen-from-airport-carousel/nDKR2/

Maybe the airlines should spend some of that ancillary revenue generated by checked baggage fees to put more employees in the baggage claim area to check bags against claim checks.
 
707lvr
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:37 pm

This is an insane statistic. If true, how many people do the Port Police employ simply to take the reports? Are those reports ever reviewed? Do you suppose people reviewing the reports notice a trend, like the fact that a lot of luggage is being stolen? Lastly, did anyone ever suggest maybe doing something about it?
 
flybyguy
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:19 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 3):
Correct. The truth is, there should be federal marshals stationed airside to catch criminal behavior at such a sensitive facility. They would have plenty to do.

The U.S. government doesn't care what happens to your bag once it comes off the airplane, only what's in it when the bag goes on an airplane. This is simply an airline/insurance issue.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
machnumber
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:09 pm

Im not surprised at all. The TSA people stole several items several times from my luggage in the last 3-4 years.

TSA is all show. Figure who you trust checking your bags.
 
Av8rDAL
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:13 pm

Quoting flybyguy (Reply 11):
The U.S. government doesn't care what happens to your bag once it comes off the airplane, only what's in it when the bag goes on an airplane. This is simply an airline/insurance issue.

Absolutely.

Quoting machnumber (Reply 12):
Im not surprised at all. The TSA people stole several items several times from my luggage in the last 3-4 years.

TSA is all show. Figure who you trust checking your bags.

I have never had anything stolen (yet), but I have had plenty of little "gotcha!" flyers from the TSA stuffed into my checked bags over the last 10 years. My personal policy is if it is valuable enough to steal, it goes into my carry-on and my carry-on does NOT leave my sight - especially when being dump-searched by TSA.

The only thing the TSA will find in my checked bag is usually dirty clothes, some half-used toiletries, and a few chargers for the laptop, etc.

Pack light, people.
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nycdave
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:38 pm

Um, folks, READ the piece. It's not 200 *BAGS* stolen per day... it's 200 *thefts* from bags per day (maybe someone should change the thread title?). All the examples given in the article are of a bag being opened, and valuables removed... which is a bit different than theft of an entire bag (which I'm sure also does happen).
 
pliersinsight
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:49 am

Quoting EricR (Reply 6):
Slightly off topic, but this is one reason why I remove my garage door opener and anything in my glove box that contains my address (ie. car registration) before leaving my car in the parking lot. A thief could steal the car and then have easy access to your home. In essence, they could rob you twice.
Quoting CitationJet (Reply 8):
That is also the reason it is not a good idea to have your GPS programmed to "Home". Your GPS will take the car thief directly to your house, then he opens the garage door with your opener. Couldn't make it any easier for them. I know of someone who had their car stolen from a church parking lot. The thief knew he had at least an hour to get to the home, and get out.

Unless you are a bit crazy and put in the next door neighbor you don't like's address as your home, so the functionality of the "take me home" selection on my built in GPS is not degraded by my love of increased security and poor scruples.
 
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redzeppelin
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:25 am

Only once in my life have I ever been asked to show my claim check at baggage claim. That was at DME in 2001. Most of the time I can't even remember where I put it, although since needing it recently when I was re-routed I've tried to get better at putting it in a consistent place in my carry-on.
 
mark2fly1034
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:51 am

I don't put anything important in my checked bag. I always take a bookbag with me that has my laptop and other items I would like to not be stolen from me. As a college kid the only think I put in my bag for weekend trips home are dirty clothes. So if someone wants to steal that they better at least clean them...
 
pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:15 am

I had one presumably stolen there back in 2009. It was a nightmare experience for me as I was moving to Berlin, Germany, and I was transferring from a B6 flight onto Air Berlin! The bag lost had the most important things I needed to get settled and start working the next morning in a new country! Including, brand new clothes and thousands of dollars worth miscellaneous things I really needed to arrive with!

When I first arrived at JFK to find the bag didn't make it, B6 located the bag at my originating station. It was suppose to be flown on the next flight to JFK and then Fedex'd to me in Berlin, because my flight to Germany was leaving before the bag would arrive. Well, after my arrival at TXL the next morning, a quick call to B6 revealed the bag had gone missing! It wasn't at PWM any longer, and, it wasn't accounted for a JFK, either! In fact, it was never found! After three months, it was deemed lost. Trying to argue a settlement with B6 from overseas took three months and countess long distance calls. In the end, they only ever reimbursed me for 1/3 of the value of all my items that were lost/stolen while in their possession! I either had no receipts to prove the value of the items lost, or, they were items that were NOT covered in case of loss! (Electronics, perishables, medication, etc.) Oh, and I got a generic letter of apology and a $150 voucher for my next flight! It was like Gee, thanks! That really made up for the headache I had to endure!

About three months later, I read a USA Today story about bag thefts at JFK. I've always theorized that when my bag arrived inbound to JFK, instead of being pulled aside, it was put on the baggage claim carousel. After passengers began to clear, I always suspected somebody came in off the street to steal unattended bags and that's what probably happened to mine? Perhaps it could have been an inside job by airline employees or TSA? I'll never know!
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:11 am

Quoting kl911 (Reply 2):
This means employees steal bags?? Dont they have cameras everywhere?

They don't have camera in the cargo holds of aircraft or on the tugs that move luggage on the ramp. But if they did have cameras, the cameras would be stolen too, and at PHL, the wiring that goes to them. And I'm not picking on baggage handlers alone - this happens at package sort facilities all over the world, too. Besides, the unions for the handlers would never, ever allow such a thing as camera surveillance!! My 11 years working in QVC's fraud control/asset protection department was a complete education in the ways of the criminal world!   

[Edited 2012-03-28 21:12:38]
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Flighty
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:47 am

I liked the story about the guy whose iPhone was stolen out of his luggage. He tracked it down to the airline employee / TSA guy's house who stole it. It would be fun to take about a $2000 chunk out of the fellow's car or home. If they take your property, why not repay yourself with their property.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:57 am

The question is who runs baggage handling at JFK ? Is it the airlines/port authority or the employees/unions.

Many years ago at LHR the baggage handlers and their union were firmly in control and the newspapers referred to the airport as "Thiefrow" It was only with the government generally cracking down on unions abusing their powers that things improved.
 
deltadudejg
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:16 am

Working at Tampa Airport myself, I have seen other airline employee's cuffed and placed into the back of police cars because they had stolen from luggage. I myself handle baggage for our daily British 777 flight to Gatwick. We have to meet the exact number of bags checked in to the total count on the bagroom master sheet. If the numbers don't match we have to hunt down the bags. Given Tampa doesn't have as many international flights but we have some sort of control on bags being lost. The bagroom that I work in though has no cameras, which raises question as to how many other airports lack proper supervision.
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Ratypus
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:20 am

I don't think I have ever put anything in checked luggage to tempt a thief - my own clothes, toiletries, maybe an electric shaver or a guidebook....everything else (cash, laptop, ipod, camera) stays with me in hand luggage.

Never had a bag go missing or be tampered with (or perhaps they have been, but nothing has ever been taken!).
 
chuchoteur
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:17 pm

I always get people looking annoyed when I wait for my stuff to go through the X-ray machine before I walk through the metal detector.

a) My wallet has once come out the other end without the cash inside.
b) I got pulled over for a bag search and while supervising the agent going through my bag, the guy behind me picked up his laptop, then my laptop, and tried to walk away.

My stuff never leaves my sight, and if it annoys other people, so be it!
I go through airport checkpoints a hundred times or so a year, I don't need to have stuff stolen as well.
 
planesavvy
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:35 pm

Virgin Atlantic was spending so much money on claims from thefts from bags out of Johannesburg that they decided to pay for every passenger's bag to be shrink-rapped at check-in. Makes it harder to identify your bag on the carousel, but you sure know if it has been opened!
 
nycdave
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:44 pm

Once again...

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ABOUT THEFT OF BAGS

IT IS ABOUT THEFT OF ITEMS FROM BAGS.

Thank you for your reading comprehension  
 
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mayor
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:57 pm

JFK or LGA are probably not the only places this happens, just the worst. I got hired by DL in '71 at ORD because 7 employees had just been fired for pilfering or stealing luggage.


Slightly off topic, but not much......when several of us from SLC went to other stations during the PanAm transition, it was related to me from one of the guys that went to JFK, how some of the PanAm people were making extra money in air cargo. Unlike DL's computer system (at the time), PanAm's was a simple tracking system.....no monetary tracking, whatsoever. Some of the PA agents were taking the money from customers and throwing away any paper trail that may have existed, after reconciling the shipment in the computer. The computer didn't know, one way or another, that there was money due or collected. DL comes along, and now the computer wants to know if you collected money, whether it was prepaid or collect.
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connector4you
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:57 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 27):
I got hired by DL in '71 at ORD because 7 employees had just been fired for pilfering

I had a labeled "fragile" item not showing out of DL's carousel at JFK only a few years back. Needless to say I never heard back from DL even after logging a formal complaint. For sure a bad taste experience with DL and JFK that would last a looooong time.
 
irshava
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:01 am

I find it hard to believe that theft at JFK can be conducted with ease. If anyone has noticed, on the way to T1, One building alone has about 15 cameras on it, pointing at all directions. This goes for T4, and T8, and most likely all the other terminals. IF there happens to be such stringent security on the OUTSIDE of the buildings, one would assume that what goes on inside is just as tightly monitored.... However, that's just my opinion.

No I am not excluding the possibility that there is theft in JFK, but it can't be enough to steal 200 bags. PER DAY.
“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.”
 
GUYAIR707
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:06 am

When North American used to fly JFK-GEO I lost stuff. I made a claim at JFK and never heard from them.

I find it unbelievable that in this post 9/11 era and all the security they make pax endure that right under their noses 200 bags a day are stolen. Shame on airport security.

GUYAIR707
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:11 am

Quoting machnumber (Reply 12):
The TSA people stole several items several times from my luggage in the last 3-4 years.

In January I flew BA/AA LHR-MIA-UIO. This was part of a round the world trip that took me to Hong Kong, UK and South America.

In Hong Kong I had taken the opportunity to avail myself to the cheap prices there. Among other things I bought a new iPhone which was about Au$200 cheaper than Australia but was still Au$600. Since I wasn't going to set it up until I got back to Australia I put it at the bottom of my case.

It got to LHR fine, but didn't make it as far as UIO. Somewhere between me checking it in at LHR and retrieving my case in UIO it went walkabout. Given I had 5h45m at MIA I'm thinking that this was the most likely place, not least because I know that my case was TSA searched. Interestingly I had money (HK, UK and US) with a cumulative value of about US$400 lying right on the top as you opened the case, but (thankfully) that wasn't taken.

Let this be a cautionary tale!

Quoting Av8rDAL (Reply 13):
My personal policy is if it is valuable enough to steal, it goes into my carry-on and my carry-on does NOT leave my sight

That's what I've learned from this experience. From now on nobody should expect anything more valuable than a pile of dirty clothes.

Quoting redzeppelin (Reply 16):
Only once in my life have I ever been asked to show my claim check at baggage claim

Me too, at UIO two months ago. Ironically it was when my phone was stolen!
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
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mayor
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RE: Report: 200 Bag Thefts A Day At JFK

Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:38 am

Quoting redzeppelin (Reply 16):
Only once in my life have I ever been asked to show my claim check at baggage claim.

IIRC, they used to do it all the time at ORD......at least at DL baggage claim.......this was in the 70s and 80s......I thought it was odd when they no longer did it, but I forget when that was.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen