Continental Baggage Handlers Stealing Gadgets from Luggage

The Tampa Tribune is reporting that three baggage handlers for Continental were taking advantage of the fact that travelers can no longer lock their checked luggage to swipe valuable electronics, selling them for pennies on the dollar. Your stolen laptop, full of your digital artifacts and current mental state? Sold for sixty bucks.

Always carry on electronics. In fact, always take anything valuable on as carry-on.

TAMPA — Airport police arrested three baggage handlers Friday on charges of dealing in stolen property pilfered from Continental Airlines luggage checked at Tampa International Airport.
Among the electronics airport police recovered were laptop computers, digital cameras, cell phones, iPods, a GPS device and headphones.

TIA Police Arrest 3 Baggage Handlers [TBO.com via Gadget Lab]

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9 Responses to Continental Baggage Handlers Stealing Gadgets from Luggage

  1. jackstar says:

    Better yet, don’t check anything, on any flight, ever. Learn how to pack light, in one carry-on bag; you’ll enjoy your travels far more.

  2. Doomstalk says:

    I learned this the hard way. I checked my bag with a few DVDs in it, and it arrived minus two DVDs and plus one TSA inspection slip.

  3. The Life Of Bryan says:

    We thought were savvy when we went to Hawai‘i two years ago. Obviously all the electronics and small valuables were carried on. But all the chargers were in a separate bag in the middle of our main suitcase. Got home and it had one cell Nokia charger and an iPod brick left in it. We spent about $200 replacing those the rest.

  4. deancameron says:

    I travel with a 2 person show and i’m not able to pack light, mister star of all that is jack, and had two computers stolen from the bag that contains the entire show this january.

    the computers, which are used in the show, were in a smaller bag inside of the suitcase and on the first leg of the trip, there was one of those refreshing “you’ve been inspected” tags *inside* of the computer bag.

    on my return from jfk to burbank, the show bag was “accidentally” sent to florida for a day and when i received it the following day, the bag containing the computers was gone.

    the good news is that i received a call from the fbi about a month ago as part of their investigation of the TSA and baggage handlers. i’m hopeful that the bastards at the wildly unconstitutional TSA feel some pressure. and maybe some of them will lose their jobs and have to return to blowing dogs for spare wine change.

    regardless, i’m still traveling with one of these:
    http://www.securityedition.com

    The show? It’s me and another guy detailing my correspondence and ensuing pwnage of a scumbag nigerian 419 scammer.
    another link?!? why yes, i think so!
    http://www.spamscamscam.com

    oh… and no problems or loss for the past 3 years we’ve been performing… besides, a federal gubbermint agency is watching over our baggage, it should be incredibly safe, right?

    right?

    what?

    cough.

  5. SC_Wolf says:

    Bruce Schneier blogged on one solution to this a while back: Travel with a starter pistol in your checked luggage. The starter pistol counts as a firearm for the purposes of checking luggage, so your bag gets extra tracking and more importantly, they insist that you use a lock that the TSA’s master keys can NOT open.

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/09/expensive_camer.html

  6. Fnarf says:

    Baggage handlers don’t have to go through security, either. They just have to wave a badge. Of course, there’s no way a terrorist would get a job as a baggage handler for a few weeks or months before doing something untoward with your luggage, say, putting something in instead of taking it out.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Carry a firearm!

    Yes, go down to your local gunshop and spend $10-$15 on the cheapest start pistol you can find.

    When you travel with firearms, the TSA requires you to fill out an affadavit that the firearm is unloaded, possibly demonstrating this, and then to lock the luggage so the baggage handlers can’t get the firearm. They do not want a copy of the key or to know the combination.

    Just watch where you fly — some cities don’t like firearms. NYC is notorious for arresting people just changing airports or whose flight was canceled and they had to stay in an airport hotel for the night.

  8. Lex10 says:

    Question – do baggage handlers have TSA keys? If not, why can’t you lock your luggage with a TSA-Approved lock? (Doomstalk’s anecdote aside.)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Over the holidays I had my laptop stolen from my checked in luggage at this airport and TSA and Continental are denying the claim….are any of you dealing with this same issue? what do you guys suggest I can do? Or is this just a lost cause now….

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