Oklahoma Woman Finds Stolen Jacket Being Sold On Internet By Airport Baggage Handler

Kinley Rice is a woman in Oklahoma with a remarkable account of how an American Airlines contractor stole her Patagonia jacket then put it on the Internet for sale.   She came across her own jacket and reported it to authorities. The story once again raises the failure of the TSA and airlines to take basic steps to prevent continued thefts from luggage. Despite billions in subsidies and profits, airlines continue to refuse to take relatively low cost measures to stop thefts, particularly continual and active surveillance of all baggage handling areas.

The jacket was taken at the Tulsa airport with other items of clothing. Kinley noted that the jacket’s bar code was visible in the product shot and allegedly matched the one that Rice had on her receipt. That was some impressed sleuthing. She then looked a the seller’s Facebook account and found that the seller worked as a baggage handler for Piedmont Airlines, a contractor with American Airlines.

She then investigated the seller’s Facebook account, and found the user worked at the Tulsa International Airport as a baggage handler employed by Piedmont Airlines, a contractor that works with American Airlines.

Stopping baggage theft is one of the lowest tech problems facing airports. If you have continued and active surveillance of baggage handling areas, you can make detection virtually 100 percent. A rational actor is not going to risk a criminal charge with a high detection risk. Yet, once again, it seems that the airlines and airport authorities are willing to take record profits but not expend money on obvious protections for the property of passengers. There is no reason why such thefts continue on airlines with the available technology.

19 thoughts on “Oklahoma Woman Finds Stolen Jacket Being Sold On Internet By Airport Baggage Handler”

  1. I agree that this would be an easy problem to solve if there were a strong enough will to do so. A friend of mine realized after the 7-day reporting window (long story about why) that you are legally allowed, that a few nice (and one of them expensive and irreplaceable) pieces of clothing were missing. Other than not being able to get at least some financial compensation, the response she got from Lufthansa Customer Service was cold and derogatory. Here is some of it:

    “After expiration of this legal deadline it can no longer be assumed that the damage occurred while the baggage was in our care.”

  2. Person I know was waiting to board or had just boarded when he spotted a luggage handler running away from the plane with his bag. He reported it to an airline employee. Seems the baggage handler had quite a stash of bags to go through at a later time.

  3. Some of the following isn’t mentioned in JT’s posting, but rather in the linked article:

    “TULSA, Okla. — A Sapulpa woman is looking for answers after more than $1 thousand worth of items were stolen from her bag while flying American Airlines out of Tulsa.

    Kinley Rice said when she got to her destination she noticed several items missing from her bag, including a brand new Patagonia jacket, a sweater, LuLu Lemon leggings, jeans and her toiletry bag. The missing item of biggest concern was her luggage tag containing her information.”

  4. What happened to the thief baggage handler? There has to be some moral hazard to make a story like this complete. Keeping large bureaucracies accountable for crime investigation is an ongoing challenge — too many orgs accept crime as a cost of doing business, which only emboldens perpetrators.

    1. One can hardly blame these baggage handler thieves, after all they likely learned it from Mark Levin’s & other’s great heros like Prez Reagan & our “Première” LEA like the DOJ/FBI/etc… & their Civil Asset Forfeiture rules.

      Most likely the lady’s bag bumped into another bag on the carousel that knew another bag which once had a lil coke spilled on it. So of course the baggage handler just knew that bag had to be pulled of the street with no recourse to that bag holder lady, just like the govt does it.

      At the end of the day are we not all know just bag holders? LOL;)

  5. I had a guitar (my first one I ever bought) stolen from me by Southwest in the early 90’s. I went back and forth with them about the value. To me, it was invaluable since it was my first guitar. It wasn’t until I got our companies controller involved threatening to boycott their airline that I got them to give me their max payout.

    1. Too bad they didn’t return your things.

      Cameras would keep them honest.

      When we lived in Europe while my Dad was stationed there, the post office started stealing the packages sent to the military overseas. Everyone started losing packages. A lot of people ordered from the Penny’s catalogue at that time. They threatened to put cameras in the post office hubs, but the union made a big stink about it. Shortly afterward, packages started making it to the destination.

    2. Jim i heard a story on the radio about a guy who made a big deal out of a lost guitar, and made a career out of it.

      was that you? i forget the name, but it’s easy to find on the net

      1. Kurtz,

        If you mean a career out of getting guitars stolen? No
        If you mean a career from playing guitar, that would be another no.
        I’m just a boring engineer.

  6. If stuff is coming out, what is to prevent stuff from going in? Luggage bombs and Lockerbie… Seems like baggage security should be an inherent function of the organization.

  7. Despite billions in subsidies and profits, airlines continue to refuse to take relatively low cost measures to stop thefts, particularly continual and active surveillance of all baggage handling areas.

    Airlines are what are called a ‘Bertrand oligopoly’. The signature of a Bertrand oligopoly is thin profit margins. Like grocery stores. They are very cost conscious. (And I’d wager property damage – United Breaks Guitars – is a problem more costly and common than internal employees theft, and so by an order-of-magnitude).

    1. yeah and “lost or damaged articles” generally will include theft since when a thing is gone its just gone and who knows about theft or resale in most cases. they’ll pony up the money, I’ve received a check for a lost bag before, it’s a small hassle not a big one

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