Baggage handler arrested in stolen luggage sting

May 23, 2013 at 3:33 PM
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SAN MATEO, Calif., May 23 (UPI) -- A baggage handler at San Francisco International Airport faces felony charges after police said a sting operation caught him taking items from travelers' bags.

George Reyes, 45, an employee of United Airlines, has been charged with two counts of embezzlement and one count of having stolen property, Bay Area News Group reported Thursday.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he expected additional charges to be filed because "loads and loads" of other items believed stolen from airline passengers' luggage were found at Reyes' home in San Francisco.

Police said Reyes was caught in a sting operation after United received at least 50 complaints between February and March from customers who said items had been taken from their bags. The airline determined that many of the items had gone missing during times that Reyes was working.

Police tagged iPads and purses with GPS tracking devices and put them in luggage during days Reyes worked. Police said the marked items were found in Reyes' car when he was arrested Tuesday as he drove home from work.

Reyes was released Wednesday on $50,000 bond. He is due in court June 5 for arraignment.

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