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Stansted Airport worker admits stealing lost property

A STANSTED Airport worker who stole property lost by passengers – including a £600 iPhone – was today (Monday, September 9) spared jail by a court.

Jason Cates, 44, of Vicerons Place, Thorley Park, who worked for the “lost and found” unit of the airport, Bagport, was instead put under a 12-month community order by Chelmsford magistrates.
As part of the order he must carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay a £60 victim surcharge and £80 costs.

He pleaded guilty to two offences of theft, involving cigarettes and the iPhone, and to possessing 19.2g of cannabis which was found at his home.

Ian Jackson, mitigating, said that as a result Cates had lost his well-paid job.

Prosecutor Angela Hughes said that Cates’s manager noticed some items had gone missing – mainly cigarettes – and kept vigilant.

On June 21 he saw Cates in one of the cage areas with a bag open. On that occasion he stole cigarettes worth £8.50.

Police were called and he was arrested. During a search of his house officers found in a wardrobe an iPhone stolen two weeks before. They also found the cannabis.

Probation officer David Clayton told the court that there did not appear to be a pattern of behaviour and said that there was a low risk of Cates reoffending.

“The offences were committed out of financial hardship, but he had a moral dilemma and couldn’t sell the iPhone and didn’t know what to do,” said Mr Clayton.

“He’s now a host in a car park at the airport and said he’s going to be quitting his cannabis habit.”

Sentencing Cates, chairman of the bench Fred Tomlin told him: “This was theft and a high degree of trust.”

7 Baggage Handlers at JFK Airport Accused of Stealing

jfk airport lost property theft
A lost pair of sunglasses might be chalked up to carelessness. A missing gold chain could have slipped off in a hotel room. Even an iPhone could have been misplaced in a rush to get through airport security. But eventually, it seemed clear that something was amiss in the baggage hold of El Al Airlines.

The mysterious trickle of disappearing items continued for months, and passengers at JFK Airport complained until the airline’s officials installed a video camera in the luggage hold. Then, the authorities said, they found the culprits.

Seven baggage handlers working on contract for the airline, which regularly flies between New York and Israel, were seen rifling through the bags that they were hired to load and unload onto the airline’s 747 aircraft, officials said.

They filled their pockets and their pant legs with cash, jewelry, cameras and computers — and even stole a $5,000 Seiko watch and a Sony PlayStation, officials said.

“When air travelers check their luggage with an airline, there is an implicit trust that their bags and their contents will meet them at their destination,” the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, said in a statement on Friday. “It is always disheartening as a traveler to find that trust to be broken.”
kennedy airport lost and found
The baggage handlers were identified as Tristan Bredwood, 22; Udhoo Doodnauth, 27; Julio Salas, 44; Dashawn Schooler, 25; Romaine Smith, 25; Oshaine Christie, 22; and Nkosi Cunningham, 24. None have entered pleas.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Cunningham were released on their own recognizance but ordered to return to court in the fall. The rest remained held, with bail set at $1,000. The authorities said the suspects admitted to stealing many of the items, some of which were later recovered from their homes and cars.

They were all arrested Wednesday, arraigned Thursday night in Queens Criminal Court and variously charged with third- and fourth-degree larceny, third-, fourth-, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, fourth-degree criminal mischief, petty larceny and attempted petty larceny.

Heathrow Lost and Found

Have you traveled to London or had a layover in Heathrow and realized you left something? The following information may help alleviate the frustration and annoyance that typically accompanies an experience that requires the services of an airport Lost and Found.

Heathrow lost and found helpfully uses technology to assist you in locating your lost items. If it’s been handed in, it will be entered in their database and available for search online within 24 to 48 hours. You must also input a date range to perform a search. The fourth field is optional, allowing you to enter a search word. You may narrow the results found by selecting from available categories that are displayed next to your results.

Did you strike pay dirt? Awesome! Highlight the line item and click on it. A new box opens with more details about the found item. If you believe this is what you are seeking, click on the “Contact Form” box in the top right corner or the “Contact form” link next to the Email field within the information box. This initiates the matching process to discern whether the item belongs to you.

Complete the contact form with specific information asking for the terminal and exact location where you lost the item, when it was lost, as well as your name and email address. Then proceed to the next page where you enter detailed information about your lost item. This information is used to determine if the item found belongs to you. If so, you will be sent a code that you will use to claim your newly found item.

Please note that you will be charged for an administrative fee to collect your found item. If you would like the item dispatched to you, postage and packing fees will be added to this fee.

If you are still in the airport, you can visit the London Heathrow Lost and Found physically in the Heathrow Express building below arrivals in Terminal 3 and near domestic arrivals in Terminal 5. Happy hunting!

49ers Super Bowl XIX ring lost, then found at San Jose airport

An employee at Mineta San Jose International Airport has a new best friend.

The ring was turned over to an airport volunteer who recognized it and took it to the lost and found. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

The ring was turned over to an airport volunteer who recognized it and took it to the lost and found. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Former 49ers center John Macaulay lost his Super Bowl XIX ring at SJC on Tuesday, according to Sal Pizarro of the San Jose Mercury News, and Arra Daquina, who works at the Starbucks in Terminal B, found it in a restroom.

Daquina told the Mercury News, “I didn’t know what it was, but it was big and heavy.”

The ring was turned over to an airport volunteer who recognized it and took it to the lost and found.

Macaulay, now a doctor and tech professional, came looking for his prized posession within minutes after realizing he’d lost it. The report says Macaulay was ‘in awe’ at how fast the ring was returned.

Macaulay was part of the 49ers squad that won 38-16 over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bow XIX at Stanford Stadium, the franchise’s second of five Super Bowl titles.

LaGuardia Airport lost and found overflows


In most cases, frantic travelers at LaGuardia Airport don’t intend to leave behind the thousands of items filling the bins and shelves at the lost-and-found office.

They hear the “last call” flight warning over the loudspeakers and sprint from security checkpoints without belts, eyeglasses, car keys and an assortment of suitcases and roller bags.

But Transportation Security Administration officials still marvel over one purposefully abandoned item: a wheelchair.

The owner apparently rolled through a checkpoint and then suddenly opted to carry on by foot.

“How did they get to their destination or gate?” wonders Veda Simmons, a TSA customer support manager at LaGuardia who oversees the four-employee lost-and-found office.

So far this year, lost-and-found has logged nearly 14,000 items. Belts, neck pillows and glasses are the most common, officials say.

There’s also no shortage of kids’ items, which include a Hello Kitty doll, 1 1/2-pound box of Mike and Ike candy and a Tony Hawk Subskate Pool Skateboard, customized with the name “Josh” on it.

Hundreds of car keys hang from a rack, including those on Harvard and Mercedes-Benz chains. Some travelers don’t realize the keys are missing until they return to the airport parking lot, officials say.

Anthony Catoggio, a lead transportation security officer who works in the office, said a woman had just rushed over to retrieve her keys.

“Without them, she couldn’t get out of the garage,” he said.

There are strange items, too: a camping tent; a new cherry wood Ovation guitar, price tag still attached; even a walker, complete with tennis balls on the legs.

Items left behind at checkpoints are cataloged with time and location, and if unclaimed, taken to the lost-and-found at the end of each shift.

There, employees strive to reunite air travelers with their stuff. TSA boasts a 92 percent return rate for laptops, roughly 800 of which were left behind at LaGuardia checkpoints last year.

“They really, really, really were great,” said Thomas Holman of Douglaston, Queens, who recently recovered a laptop lost by his girlfriend’s daughter. “We instantly got it back.”

Items can be sent to owners via Federal Express or United Postal Service at their expense, or arrangements can be made for an airport pickup.

After 30 days, unclaimed items become federal property and can be donated or sold.

Forty-five boxes of clothing were donated in April to homeless veterans as part of the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act passed earlier this year, Simmons said.

The office frequently receives thank-you notes from relieved passengers. One recently sent a letter to the office — and President Barack Obama — commending TSA agents.

Another wrote: “Thank you so much for returning my necklace. I thought I might not ever see it again. It made my day when you said you had it.”

Catoggio has learned not to underestimate the sentimental value of things lost and found.

“The most valuable things aren’t a Rolex but a Casio watch that dad gave them,” he said. “It’s a fulfilling part of my job when you help them get it back.”


Traveling is often a hectic experience. While racing to catch your flight or make a connection, it’s easy to accidentally leave something behind. If you’ve had this unhappy experience at London Gatwick Airport Lost and Found, the following information about this location’s Lost and Found services can help you locate and retrieve your lost item.

This airport’s office is physically located in the South Terminal on the ground level. It’s open seven days a week, and the hours of operation are 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Please note that this office is only for items that have been lost or found in the airport or at security. If you left an item on an airplane or an airline bus, you will need to contact the airline to learn how best to proceed.

You will complete an online “Search Lost Items” form. Select the location where the item was lost and the date it occurred. Choose from a drop-down menu of categories for your lost property and the applicable color(s). You can also enter any pertinent information and details in a freeform field. Finally, complete the contact information section and submit your request. You will be contacted via text or email if/when your property has been located. It may take up to two or three weeks for your property to reach the Office, though 95 percent of found items reach the Lost Property Office within a fortnight.

If the Lost Property Office has your item, you can return to the airport to retrieve it. Please be prepared to provide a photo ID in the form of a driver’s license, passport or other official documentation with a photo. For high ticket items, you may need to provide some form of proof of ownership. The storage charge amount is based on the size and weight of your lost property. You may also have a friend retrieve your lost item, but they will need to provide ID for both you and the person picking up the property as well as a signed letter from you.

If you are unable to physically retrieve your found property, you can arrange to have your items delivered to you anywhere in the world via courier. ID scans and any required ownership documentation will be requested via email.


Hundreds of complaints filed with TSA over lost items at Hartfield

Channel 2 Action News has obtained documents that show passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport report losing all kinds of valuables.

Channel 2’s Scott MacFarlane found those items total about $250,000 in value.

MacFarlane obtained a federal database that reveals 416 complaints filed with the Transportation Security Administration by Atlanta passengers between 2011 and 2012 claiming valuables were lost or damaged in their luggage.

One passenger claimed $11,000 in fine jewelry was lost. Another reported losing $10,000 worth. One said thousands of dollars in clothes and shoes went missing.

MacFarlane found complaints about PC tablets, auto parts and $780 sunglasses missing from Atlanta travelers.

In other cities, travelers have faced another problem.

“We’ve run into problems at checkpoints where people are actually lifting items from bags. Recently, we’ve seen TSA people caught at home with the items they stole from people at the airport,” travel industry expert Charlie Leocha told MacFarlane.

An iPad recently turned up in the Florida home of a TSA officer.

Charlotte TSA officer Reggie Edwards is accused of stealing cash from a suitcase.

Agent Karla Morgan has been accused of snatching cash too.

MacFarlane found no recent record of Atlanta officers stealing but spotted some interesting trends in the database.

Twenty passengers reported losing digital cameras from their bags. Dozens and dozens claimed losing jewelry and iPads as well.

But the TSA isn’t reimbursing many of them. In fact, it reimbursed zero passengers who reported lost cameras

Passengers reported $300,000 in property lost or damaged in Atlanta. TSA cut about $35,000 in reimbursement checks.

The agency has an online claims process and MacFarlane was told it has investigators on staff to review receipts, talk to witnesses and review the claims. But the numbers indicate if your stuff gets lost in Atlanta, it’s hard to prove your case.

Astonishing items left behind at Gatwick Airport lost property

MOST of us have misplaced an item or two in our rush to get from A to B – an umbrella or a pair of sunglasses perhaps.

But few of us will have ever walked off and left behind a wedding dress, false teeth, crutches – or even a unicycle.

And yet these are just some of the astonishing items that the team at Gatwick’s lost and found department have had to deal with over the last 12 months.

John Briley, head of special projects at the airport, explained: “A lot of our passengers are going on holiday and they might fly twice a year.

“There are too many signs, and it’s confusing for them – and they leave the most amazing things behind. We get wedding dresses all the time and false teeth. We had a wedding cake once. Take wedding dresses – we had four last month.

“We get a lot of people wanting to fly to warmer climes for their wedding.

“But they don’t want to put their wedding dress in with their luggage – and they aren’t used to carrying it with them so when they get up they forget it.

“We try to return them to their owners – where they are labelled and can be identified we’ll put them on the next flight but if it’s unlabelled it’s a problem.” Continue reading

Chances of losing luggage rise in December, January, study says

If you plan to fly during the holiday season, the chances of an airline losing your luggage will increase sharply.

The rate of mishandled luggage in December was as much as 35% higher than the annual average in the years 2008 through 2010, according to a study by NerdWallet.com, a personal finance analysis site. In the month of January, the rate of lost or damaged rate was 43% higher than the annual average for 2008 to 2011. 

For example, in December 2010, airlines reported an average rate of 4.7 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, compared with the average for the year of 3.47 lost or damaged bags, according to NerdWallet. The trend did not hold true in December 2011, when the rate dropped to 3.25 reports, compared with the 2011 average of 3.33 reports, according to NerdWallet.

Alicia Jao, Nerdwallet vice president of travel media, suggested a simple reason: Around the holidays, travelers carry more luggage with them, increasing the likelihood of lost bags.

“During the holidays, people usually check more luggage than when they travel, say, in the summer,” she said.

The study also found that lost luggage rates are higher among regional airlines. The worst offender, according to the study, is American Eagle, the regional carrier of American Airlines. The airline had 9.19 reports of mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers in January 2011, more than double the average rate for all other airlines that year, according to the study.

Jao suggests regional airlines have a higher mishandle rate because they don’t put a high priority on lost luggage delivery. Don’t pack expensive items when flying on regional airlines, her website warns.

In a statement, AMR, the parent company of American Eagle, said the airline “continues to make great progress in its baggage performance, with a 28% improvement for the first nine months of 2012 compared to 2011.”

The Top 20 US Airports for TSA Theft

Your suitcase has been tagged and whisked away for a TSA security check before being loaded onto a plane en route to your final destination. How safe are the belongings inside? The TSA has fired nearly 400 employees for allegedly stealing from travelers, and for the first time, the agency is revealing the airports where those fired employees worked.

Newly released figures provided to ABC News by the TSA in response to a Freedom of Information Act request show that, unsurprisingly, many of the country’s busiest airports also rank at the top for TSA employees fired for theft.

Sixteen of the top 20 airports for theft firings are also in the top 20 airports in terms of passengers passing through.

At the head of the list is Miami International Airport, which ranks twelfth in passengers but first in TSA theft firings, with 29 employees terminated for theft from 2002 through December 2011. JFK International Airport in New York is second with 27 firings, and Los Angeles International Airport is third with 24 firings. JFK ranks sixth in passenger traffic, while LAX is third. Chicago, while second in traffic, ranked 20th in theft firings.

The four airports listed in the TSA’s top 20 list of employee firings for theft that aren’t also among the FAA’s top 20 for passenger activity are Salt Lake City International, Washington Dulles, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International, and San Diego International.

The top airports across the U.S. for TSA employees fired for theft are:

1. Miami International Airport (29)

2. JFK International Airport (27)

3. Los Angeles International Airport (24)

4. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (17)

5. Las Vegas-McCarren International Airport (15)

6. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and New York-Laguardia Airport (14 each)

8. Newark Liberty, Philadelphia International, and Seattle-Tacoma International airports (12 each)

11. Orlando International Airport (11)

12. Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport (10 each)

14. Washington Dulles International Airport (9)

15. Detroit Metro Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (7)

17. Boston-Logan International, Denver International and San Diego International airports (6)

20. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (5)

During a recent ABC News investigation, an iPad left behind at a security checkpoint at the Orlando airport was tracked as it moved 30 miles away to the home of the TSA officer last seen handling it.

WATCH the ‘Nightline’ report on ‘The Case of the Missing iPad’

Confronted two weeks later by ABC News, the TSA officer, Andy Ramirez, at first denied having the missing iPad, but ultimately turned it over after blaming his wife for taking it from the airport. Ramirez was later fired by the TSA.

The iPad was one of ten purposely left behind at TSA checkpoints at major airports with a history of theft by government screeners, as part of an ABC News investigation into the TSA’s ongoing problem with theft of passenger belongings. The other nine iPads were returned to ABC News after being left behind.

The agency disputes that theft is a widespread problem, however, saying the number of officers fired “represents less than one-half of one percent of officers that have been employed” by TSA.