CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team obtained exclusive security video every air traveler should see showing what happens to your luggage before you even notice it is gone.
We’ve revealed recent cases of thieves stealing bags at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Now, watch how they do it.
The video shows one woman wearing nice clothing strolling through Hopkins airport. She blends into the crowd waiting for luggage at baggage claim. Then police said they believe she stole someone else’s bags and you see her casually walking off.
In another case, the video shows a man with a backpack blending into the crowd at baggage claim. Investigators said they believe he, too, walked off with someone else’s luggage.
“First of all, I was really angry. Then when I realized it had been stolen, I was even angrier,” one of the victims said.
The video obtained by the I-Team shows it’s hard to spot a crook in the crowd.
Last month, a Florida doctor filed a police report saying two bags were stolen when he and his wife flew into Hopkins. In one bag, he had his iPad. He did an electronic search for it and the signal came back to a neighborhood off West 86th Street and Denison Avenue, about 6 miles from the airport.
“I was stunned because then I knew it was stolen,” Dr. Frank Fischer, Jr said. Fischer said he never did get his belongings back.
He’d like all airports to go back to an old system making passengers show ID before walking off with luggage from baggage claim.
“Anybody could’ve walked in there and picked it up if they saw it going around a couple times with nobody there. And that would be the thing that disturbed us,” Fischer said.
For the cases related to the video clips, Cleveland police have filed charges against Brianna Thornton and Alexander Velazquez. Police said he had been working at the airport. Both suspects are pleading not guilty.
Those victims said all of this is more reason to stay alert.
“People can be very clever about that knowing when to do it, and when not to,” Fischer said.
Hopkins airport has said in the past, luggage thefts don’t happen very often. But, we have found cases from time to time, and they are often carried out just like these.