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7 John F. Kennedy Airport baggage handlers caught stealing valuables from luggage (video)

By Mason White 11:10 AM December 5, 2014
John F. Kennedy International Airport 

By: Tanya Malhotra
(Scroll down for video) Seven baggage handlers at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, were arrested on charges of theft after stealing valuables from travelers’ luggage, prosecutors in New York said.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and Port Authority Chief Security Officer Joseph P. Dunne announced that the seven baggage handlers have been charged with stealing numerous electronic items, such as cell phones, iPads and laptops, as well as jewelry and other items from travelers’ checked luggage.

“The defendants, who were hired to handle the baggage of those traveling in and out of Kennedy Airport, are alleged to have stolen computers, cell phones and other items from checked luggage with many of them selling the pilfered items to a pawn shop or to an undercover police officer. The defendants have been caught red-handed and will now face the consequences of their alleged illegal acts,” Brown said.

The defendants were identified as Khaleed Maynard, 28, Sheldon Theodore, 22, and Ryan Phillips, 35, who worked for Swissport at Terminal 4.

Levi Miller, 47, Romero Hendricks, 30, and Tihafade Esdaile, 29, who were employed by Aircraft Services International Group at Terminal 4, were also arrested.

Keston Austin, 31, who worked for G.S.I. at Terminal 7, was charged with theft. The defendants face charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in Queens Criminal Court.

If convicted, defendants Theodore, Phillips, Miller, Hendricks and Esdaile, face up to 4 years in prison, while defendants Maynard and Austin face up to 7 years in prison.

According to the police investigation, the defendants stole Apple iPads, iPhones and MacBook computers, as well as Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets, Dell, Toshiba and ASUS laptops, and other electronic items.

They also stole a pair of two carat diamond and gold earrings. The items were allegedly taken from the checked luggage of passengers. All but two of the defendants are alleged to have contacted an undercover police officer.

Victims included travelers from Japan, Hawaii, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Italy. The value of the stolen electronics and jewelry is alleged to have totaled in excess of $20,000.