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BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:16 am

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/loc...1,7679449.story?ctrack=2&cset=true

Scum of the earth!

This group stole more than 200 items from bags of military personnel, many of them deploying overseas. Signature Flight Support employees, who work ramp on an AMC contract.

Drawing and quartering these bastards is too good for them!
 
PanAm747
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:20 am

Let's please make sure that we don't include all the innocent bag handlers that work at BWI - I'm sure they are mortified by the actions of a very few bad apples.

I hope there are no lynch mobs or vindictive actions against all baggage handlers. But I agree - stealing from military personnel returning home? How low can a person get?
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
JRadier
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:20 am

you have to be registered to read the article, could you post a part of it? (according to the rules of course)
 
dl757md
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:34 am

JRadier
You can usually get around the registration by searching google news and clicking the hit for the article you seek. It often times bypasses the login screen and takes you directly to the article without registration.

This is a link that will take you to a search result page that has such a link to the above mentioned article as well as other articles from sites that don't require registration.
Hope this helps!

Dl757Md
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
 
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Topic Author
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:35 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
Let's please make sure that we don't include all the innocent bag handlers that work at BWI - I'm sure they are mortified by the actions of a very few bad apples.

Did I indict ALL BWI bag handlers? No. I cited SIGNATURE FLIGHT SUPPORT employees!

That was too long to put in the title, you'll understand that.

Quoting JRadier (Reply 2):
you have to be registered to read the article,

Try it again- should work and come right up without a problem.
 
dl757md
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:39 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 4):
Try it again- should work and come right up without a problem.

Still doesn't work for me. The work-around that I posted in reply 3 does though.
757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
 
FI642
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:54 am

Try this link, its for the Capital, in Annapolis:

http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2005/06_23-42/TOP

Speaning as a victim of these animals, no punishment is strong enough.
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Topic Author
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:09 am

Quoting FI642 (Reply 6):
Speaning as a victim of these animals, no punishment is strong enough.

I concur.

**Michael Harlee, 22, of Baltimore and Derek J. Murray, 20, of 8057 Windingwood Road in Glen Burnie were charged last week with felony theft.

The third man, 20-year-old Shaka N. Watson of Baltimore, is set to go to trial next month. His lawyer wasn't available for comment.**

SCUM.
 
FI642
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:19 am

Shaka, I'm just so disappointed with you.

So much potential destroyed. So much harm done. So many people hurt.

Signature (ASIG) didn't even had the common courtesy of telling their customers what had happened. We had to read about it like everyone else.
737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
 
contrails
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:25 am

I found this particularly upsetting.

I hope the judge throws all those guilty of this disgusting offense into prison for at least 20 years.

This type of scum is a minority at any airport. The vast majority of baggage handlers, and all other rampers for that matter, work hard and wouldn't think of stealing something, especially from a GI. It's too bad a handful give the rest a bad reputation.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
UAL Bagsmasher
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:36 am

You get what you pay for...
 
masseybrown
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:40 am

BWI has always had L-O-N-G waits for bags. I assumed it was a poorly designed multi-level handling operation. Maybe it's just the baghandlers.
 
planenutz
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:39 am

I wonder if the TSA allows armed farces personnel flying AMC to lock their checked baggage (?).
Not all who wander are lost....
 
B744F
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:44 am

These people make dirt for salaries, how is it surprising when they find things they know they can sell to make some extra money?
 
planenutz
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:49 am

B744F, I agree. THis sort of thing happens all the time at airports all across the country.

Signature FLight Services does the ground handling for all international departures from BWI's International Terminal and I'm positive other incidents have occured with other carriers, just not to the extent that it did with AMC's flights, the domiant operator at the terminal.
Not all who wander are lost....
 
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:49 am

Quoting B744F (Reply 13):
These people make dirt for salaries, how is it surprising when they find things they know they can sell to make some extra money?

Totally irrelevant and never a justification for crime. And from our military personnel no less just makes it worse.
 
B744F
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:51 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 15):
Totally irrelevant and never a justification for crime. And from our military personnel no less just makes it worse.

Of course its not justification, its just stating the facts. And poverty has no link to crime rates either. The simple truth is, if people made more money, they wouldn't commit most crimes.
 
bennett123
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:56 am

I think that a lot of people are missing the point that these people have been charged not convicted.

I also think that 20 years or deawing and quartering are a bit drastic.
 
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:02 am

Quoting B744F (Reply 16):
The simple truth is, if people made more money, they wouldn't commit most crimes.

I disagree...but that's a topic for another thread on overall criminology and such.  Smile

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 17):
I also think that 20 years or deawing and quartering are a bit drastic.

You're right. Perhaps tar and feathering can come back into vogue. Or hanging in town square at high noon. Maybe firing squad. Or cement shoes.

Consciously stealing from soldiers. Pilfering soldier's bags. Soldiers who these scumbag thieves know are going into harm's way. Some of whom might not come back. And they decide to give our troops a going away present.

Drawing and quartering may not be drastic enough. These are the lowest dregs of our society.
 
planenutz
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:03 am

It appears that any ill will targeting our soldiers bleeds emotion. Oh well.
If the baggage handlers had stolen a human heart meant for a transplant you probalby wouldn't get this level of comdemnation.
Not all who wander are lost....
 
contrails
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:09 am

"The simple truth is, if people made more money, they wouldn't commit most crimes."

I knew this was coming. Please let me state for the record that I have been flat broke more times than I could count; and I know many, many other people who have been flat broke; and at no time did any one of us even think about resorting to crime of any sort, especially stealing from members of the Armed Services who are defending our freedom a long ways from home.

With all due respect, that's absurd!
Flying Colors Forever!
 
B744F
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:17 am

thats not absurd, the simple fact is, desperate people do desperate things. But instead of pinpointing what causes the desperation, people choose to focus on blamming the individual for reacting wrong to their circumstances.
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:44 am

A friend of mine was a baggage handler at one of the airports in my username (sorry, want to keep this very anonymous) .. basically everyday was like Christmas for them .. golf clubs the favourite - very easy to get out, and bare in mind, no security LEAVING airports...
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 6:56 am

Quoting Planenutz (Reply 19):
If the baggage handlers had stolen a human heart meant for a transplant you probalby wouldn't get this level of comdemnation.

It would from me, but yeah, the fact that's it was from soldier's absolutely gets more emotion.

Just as if a suit is pilfered from a guy going to a funeral. Or some of the other dire circumstances I've encountered.

But looking at the magnitude and frequency of their actions, it's gross.
 
SATL382G
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 7:03 am

Quoting B744F (Reply 21):
thats not absurd, the simple fact is, desperate people do desperate things.

How do you know they were desperate? Maybe stealing was a "rush" for them.

Desperate people steal food and maybe cash, not DVDs & CDs.
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
m404
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 7:06 am

I've got to chime in on this but after being a union scale ramper for a long time(among many other positions) and knowing a few bad apples that we have caught tarnishing the barrel I must say that along with seniority comes respect for the job and the customer. We see untold amounts of pilferable goods every day and resistance to temptation seems easier each time. The job is not worth the chance of sacrificing.

When TSA said bags must now be unlocked a collective groan from among our own was heard that this would open a pandoras box of temptation among the lower paid third party contract minimum wage/ minimum commitment employees that would tarnish everyone's rep and make the public associate rampers with thieves automatically. Many of the drug and pilferage thefts in the news are the lower paid non-career people but the press rarely makes the distinction.

It's sad that so many that want to get a start or at least taste what an honorable airline career should be like have to endure this atmosphere and in fact get turned off an ideal because of the feelings and morals of those around them. I that I do think that pay scale helps sift out dishonesty when their is more to lose for those who can think ahead.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
ordflyer
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 7:10 am

Quote:
I wonder if the TSA allows armed farces personnel flying AMC to lock their checked baggage ?

Actually, TSA now allows everybody to lock their bags if they wish. They warn you that they may have to break the lock to inspect the bag, but you can lock it nonetheless. Also companies do sell "TSA approved" locks which have an extra set of keys for the TSA so that they can open the bag if necessary without breaking the lock.
 
fumanchewd
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 7:42 am

I had worked at a major airport in California (do not want to name) and saw many times baggage handlers rummaging through luggage. I believe that you will always have thieves no matter their income (Enron and Tyco CEOs) dollarsign  dollarsign 
but it is true that

Quoting UAL Bagsmasher (Reply 10):
You get what you pay for...

if companies pay more they will get more honest and hard working employees. On a similiar note, I also noticed on occasion Fed Ex loaders popping boxes open right on the ramp. They are payed well but, as most people know, Fed Ex doesn't like to hire for full time jobs and alot of the employees were only given 20-25 hours a week. Fed Ex may have less honest employees because of a lack of desire to give benefits.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
txagkuwait
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:05 am

As someone who just got back from an undisclosed location within Iraq, and who at an undisclosed time within the next 45 days or so will be headed back there for a year, let me jump in with those advocating the most severe punishment possible.

Folks who would steal from soldiers under these circumstances should be hung. No ifs, ands, or buts.

As far as "desperate people do desperate things" and "if they made more money, they wouldn't steal"....I say bullcrap.

We are not talking about a widowed mom with multiple kids who just lost her job, stealing a quart of milk and a loaf of bread for her kids.

Sure would be nice to get selected for their jury...or called to testify as a character witness.  Smile
 
fumanchewd
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 9:10 am

Quoting TxAgKuwait (Reply 28):
As far as "desperate people do desperate things" and "if they made more money, they wouldn't steal"....I say bullcrap.

We are not talking about a widowed mom with multiple kids who just lost her job, stealing a quart of milk and a loaf of bread for her kids.

I am not condoning their behavior or apologizing for it, but stating the facts. The fact is that people with less income are more likely to commit crimes. It may sound elitist but it is true.
Whether you are angry about it or not doesn't isn't relevant, nor does it change that fact.

Quoting TxAgKuwait (Reply 28):
Folks who would steal from soldiers under these circumstances should be hung. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Executions for theft???  Wow! I sure hope that's not how they're training our soldiers.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
txagkuwait
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:18 am

Obviously, fumanchewd, by suggesting hanging as a penalty I was engaging in some exaggeration. As Americans we pride ourselves on a more rational system of justice than, say, that of Saudi Arabia or Iran - where thieves often have to "give someone a hand."

If there were any justice in this world.....what would happen to these individuals, if and when found guilty....is they'd be flown to Fort Benning, provided a haircut and some new clothes, then they'd be put on an aircraft headed to Iraq where they would perform their new duties as infantry privates for the princely sum of...oh...maybe $ 1235.17 a month.

BTW when you work 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.....$ 1235.17 a month works out to about $1.84 an hour....substantially less than what those ramp guys were making.

fu, I'd be curious as to your idea of equitable punishment? I'm hoping you are thinking something pretty severe. I don't think a little bitty jail term, probation, and/or community service would quite cut the mustard, do you?
 
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zippyjet
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:40 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
Let's please make sure that we don't include all the innocent bag handlers that work at BWI - I'm sure they are mortified by the actions of a very few bad apples.

I hope there are no lynch mobs or vindictive actions against all baggage handlers. But I agree - stealing from military personnel returning home? How low can a person get?

Bravo PanAm 747. Very well said!  bigthumbsup 
I'm Zippyjet & I approve this message!
 
fumanchewd
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:48 am

It did say that the prosecutor called it a "major felony theft scheme". That statement alone tells me that they will most likely prosecute for grand larceny, racketeering, and possibly federal charges for commiting felonious acts at an international airport. It would seem that they would get at least six months but most likely several years with probation. I would say that that several years would be fair, assuming that they have no prior record.

I sympathize with the soldiers departing to fight for our country and I think that this is a terrible thing to happen to them, but I am not aware of a law specifically stipulating that stealing from the military would result in a different sentence then if it was from a civilian. There may be a federal law that I am not aware of though. Maybe a lawyer could tell us if I am correct?
That said, with this publicity and because of public outrage the judge (and jury if there is one) will most likely favor a harsh sentence.
You said that a "severe" judgement is necessary and I agree, but the term "severe" is subjective. In my mind a 1-4 year sentence seems severe enough.

Quoting TxAgKuwait (Reply 30):
Obviously, fumanchewd, by suggesting hanging as a penalty I was engaging in some exaggeration. As Americans we pride ourselves on a more rational system of justice than, say, that of Saudi Arabia or Iran - where thieves often have to "give someone a hand."

Reading your post, I don't think that it was "obvious" that you were exaggerating and I am sure that in your opinion they should be punished for longer then I believe. Fair nuff. But neither one of our opinions would really matter in their trial, so there's no point in arguing that point.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
xpat
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:20 pm

Quoting TxAgKuwait (Reply 28):
Folks who would steal from soldiers under these circumstances should be hung. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Hmmm, sounds positively like something that would happen in certain countries in the Middle East. How's that for irony?
The only thing we have to fear is the sky falling on our heads. -Asterix
 
Paul777
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sun Jun 26, 2005 12:25 am

From the article - "Police said the men stole laptop computers, digital cameras, video game systems and at least one MP3 player from November 2003 to November 2004."

Any particular reason those were in bags destined for the belly of the aircraft? I personally would not place those in checked bags. Not sure if when troops deploy the are able/not able to carry on, these things. Could someone clarify that? Not that it makes it any less offensive as to what occurred, but it could have made a difference if the items had been in the cabin of the aircraft, vs. in the bags placed in the holds!
thx
 
RichardPrice
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:06 am

Quoting TxAgKuwait (Reply 28):
Folks who would steal from soldiers under these circumstances should be hung. No ifs, ands, or buts.

And this is why impartial justice systems will always be a foremost point in the free world - you dont let the victims or those connected with the victims deliver the judgement or punishment.

Yes, these guys did bad, yes they are scum, no they dont deserve 20 years, death or anything near as harsh. They stole luxury items from luggage, they should go to prison for that but not for the rest of their lives.

This is one of the reasons why I refuse to beleive that Saddam Hussein should be tried by the Iraqi people - you cant guarantee impartiality, its like giving a KKK member to a lynch victims family and friends to judge and punish.
 
BWI757
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:16 am

Here's their punishment:

Excerpted from here
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/loc...610.story?coll=bal-local-headlines


A former baggage handler at Baltimore-Washington International Airport admitted yesterday to stealing CDs, cameras and other items from the luggage of travelers - many of them soldiers serving overseas - and was chided by a judge who imposed a sentence in excess of state guidelines.

Shaka Nesta Watson, 20, was ordered to serve two years in prison for his role in a ring that is suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of electronics and military-related items from international travelers during 2004.

Watson pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft of a laptop computer from a civilian Air Canada traveler in a deal that Anne Arundel County prosecutors said they made because of the difficulty of bringing soldiers home from Afghanistan and Iraq to testify.

Calling the crime "appalling," Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Michele D. Jaklitsch told Watson: "You single-handedly disrupted the lives of many in the military at a time when they are the most vulnerable."

She chided him for making other travelers feel less secure. Jaklitsch sentenced him to four years in prison, but suspended half of the term and added three years of supervised probation. The sentence tops state guidelines, which recommend no more than six months in jail.

Maryland Transportation Authority Police and prosecutors said they have hundreds of items they would like to reunite with owners - if only they knew who they are.

Watson, of Baltimore, said he needed the money and sought probation for his role in what authorities say was a three-man operation that stole more than 1,000 items from international travelers. The military uses BWI as a hub.

Watson's sentence came after an emotional request for incarceration by Assistant State's Attorney Michael J. Dunty.

"As he stands here and asks for that freedom, the people that he stole from are ... fighting for that freedom," Dunty told Jaklitsch. He said Watson already got a break from prosecutors, who did not charge him in thefts from five servicemen whose goods they had linked to him.

Officials seized tens of thousands of dollars in electronics from Watson in December - and said they suspected that hundreds of servicemen may have been among the victims.

More than 500 CDs, more than 200 DVDs, watches, digital cameras, laptop computers and game players were in the haul, according to a list of items Watson is to forfeit. The list also includes a military compass, knives and multipurpose tools. It does not include items seized in connection with the other two baggage handlers charged.

Watson apologized in court.

In his confession, Watson wrote that he realized the "stupidity of my actions. I apologize to the men and women of the United States military. I only did it too [sic] get some money to help my girlfriend and I with our financial situations, which doesn't make my actions okay but like I said I apologize."
"Like stars across the sky, we were born to shine" - Andrea Bocelli
 
FI642
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jul 09, 2005 3:29 am

He got off wayyyy to easily. Maybe he should go to Iraq!

There are other comments on this topic, but they would burn the wires
out of everyones computers.

Still disgusted. Still offended. Still mad.
737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
 
ltbewr
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jul 09, 2005 3:55 am

It is a shame she cannot face federal charges for her thefts of the belongings of military personal, and face about a 5 yr sentence at hard labor. Maybe they could send her to Iraq/Afganistan for use as target practice or to walk/drive in the front of military convoys to detect IED's/bombs.
 
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jul 09, 2005 3:58 am

Quoting BWI757 (Reply 36):
Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Michele D. Jaklitsch told Watson: "You single-handedly disrupted the lives of many in the military at a time when they are the most vulnerable."



Quoting BWI757 (Reply 36):
"As he stands here and asks for that freedom, the people that he stole from are ... fighting for that freedom," Dunty told Jaklitsch.

Huah.

Hope those scumbags have a nice time in jail.
 
Wayfarer
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:06 am

this is alerting  alert 

those BWI bag handlers work for which airline company? was it a military charter plane that military personnel were on?

[Edited 2005-07-08 21:06:34]
EASTERN AIRLINES: We Are Still Here Today
 
FI642
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RE: BWI Bag Handlers Busted For Theft From Military!

Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:40 am

They worked for Signature Flight Support/ASIG.

ASIG didn't even have the courtesy to come to the carriers and
let them know there was a problem. The Station Managers had
to read about it in the paper. How's that for service?
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