I-Team: Thieves hitting travelers again at Hopkins Airport

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CLEVELAND — The FOX 8 I-Team has found more luggage being stolen right out from under busy travelers at Hopkins Airport, a problem we’ve exposed before.

We’ve uncovered a series of reports from recent days of bags taken off of the carousels at baggage claim and even valuables taken out of luggage.

One woman flew in from the west coast and found herself making a police report minutes after landing.

She told the I-Team how she quickly discovered her luggage missing. She said, “And they looked all over for it and couldn’t find it.” She added, “First of all, I was very angry. Then when I realized it had been stolen, I was even angrier. You feel like you’ve had an invasion of privacy. You’ve been violated. And to think someone was going through my baggage.”

Months ago, we reported on other cases. Last year, an artist from Peru had her suitcase stolen at Hopkins including jewelry she had designed.

And in July, the I-Team revealed police video showing a flight attendant had grabbed a traveler’s bookbag in the terminal and taken it on a plane.

Keep in mind, at Hopkins Airport, there’s not much to stop anyone from just going over to a baggage claim carousel, picking up any bag, and walking away. Nobody from the airport, or the airlines, is standing there checking IDs or tickets and matching them to luggage.

Police did make an arrest in one of the latest cases. Alexander Velazquez Garcia has been charged. We’ve learned a Cleveland police officer saw him on security video and then spotted him in the airport.

That means the woman who had just flown in from the west coast is getting justice. She also got most of her luggage back.

She said, “I didn’t think I’d ever see it again. I can’t say enough about the police department, how good they’ve been.”

In one of the recent cases, a thief was seen getting away with someone’s baggage and leaving on an RTA train.

In the case with the arrest, records show, once police questioned the suspect, he called his wife to have her bring the stolen luggage back.

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