Finding Lost Luggage: Arizona Stolen Luggage Case Offers Lessons
You might want to hold onto your luggage.
We all know how much of a hassle it is to find checked bags that are lost, mishandled, damage or stolen.
Investigators at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix continue to sort through piles of stolen bags.
They now face the challenge of matching the recovered property with victims after a couple was accused of stealing more than 1,000 pieces of luggage from unsuspecting travelers.
Authorities said they were in touch with a handful of victims from the Sky Harbor heists, though returning stolen items to them would be difficult because each of the bags was stripped of any identification tags.
According to the Associated Press, police served a search warrant earlier this week to the couple's home in Waddell, AZ.
Keith King, 61, remained held Thursday in a Maricopa County jail on a $25,000 bond. His wife, Stacy Lynne Legg-King, 38, posted bond and was released from jail, according to police.
Detectives found clothing stacked from the floor to the ceiling. They found digital cameras and laptops. They also found prescription-pill bottles with the prescription scratched off. Passports and adoption paperwork was among other personal stolen property found.
On average of nearly 14,100 a day, checked bags are lost, delayed, damaged or stolen, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Neighbors reported to police seeing a trailer full of material arriving to the home in the middle of the night, which they described as suspicious.
At least one neighbor told police the couple frequently held garage sales to sell a variety of merchandise, including luggage.
A Phoenix airport officer said he watched Keith King for about three weeks enter the airport and grab random bags off the luggage carousel before leaving.
Police said surveillance video also showed Keith King parking in an airport garage and walking to the baggage-claim area to steal luggage.
The two had been taking luggage from the airport over a period of a year or more, authorities said.
Here are some quick tips to keep a closer eye on your bags while traveling:
- Put your name, phone number and address on the inside of your bags as well in case the luggage tag gets ripped off
- Put your itinerary in your bag so the airline will know where to re-route your luggage if it gets misplaced
- Take a photo of your bag with you in your carry-on so you can give it to the airline if they lose it
- If you can afford it, ship your belongings to your final destination and avoid the baggage claim terminal all together