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Thefts climb at JFK Airport

Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:31 PM

NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Reported larcenies at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport rose 30 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, officials say.

But the 299 complaints this year have led to only 28 arrests, a 9 percent arrest rate, The New York Post reports.

The Post said the items stolen most frequently are laptops and iPads.

The larcenies include thefts from baggage carousels, unattended property and thefts by baggage handlers and Transportation Security Administration employees.

Excluded are thefts by pickpockets, shoplifting and thefts from cars in airport parking lots.

An unidentified source told the newspaper Port Authority police face pressure from supervisors to reduce the value of stolen properties, which means they're reported as petit larcenies. Grand larcenies are one of the seven crimes reported to the FBI. Petit larcenies aren't.

"The bosses are constantly telling us to downgrade grand larcenies to petit larcenies when a stolen item is more than a year old," the source said. "They want us to take into account depreciation. It's not enough for us to be cops. They want us to be accountants too."

The Post said the PA has asked airlines to place more cameras and post more guards in areas where thefts have been reported.

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