Several baggage handlers at John F. Kennedy Airport were caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and Port Authority Chief Security Officer Joseph P. Dunne announced on Wednesday that seven JFK Airport baggage handlers were arrested for stealing items out of checked luggage between 2012 and 2014.
According to the release, the group stole electronic items like phones, iPads, laptops and more.
“The defendants – who were hired to handle the baggage of those traveling in and out of Kennedy Airport – are alleged to have stolen computers, cell phones and other items from checked luggage with many of them selling the pilfered items to a pawn shop or to a ‘fence’ who was actually an undercover police officer. The defendants have been caught red handed and will now face the consequences of their alleged illegal acts,” Brown said.
The seven people identified to have stolen the property are Khaleed Maynard, 28, Sheldon Theodore, 22, and Ryan Phillips, 35, who worked for Swissport at Terminal 4; Levi Miller, 47, Romero Hendricks, 30, and Tihafade Esdaile, 29, and Keston Austin, 31, who worked for G.S.I. at Terminal 7. Austin and Theodore are both Southeast Queens residents while the other five reside in Brooklyn.
According to the release, the group contacted a “fence” who was actually an undercover cop and named prices for the items they stole. They set up meeting places within the airport to hand the items over and even made promises about other items they could take, according to the release.
They were taken from luggages going to and coming from various cities such as Johannesburg, London and Bangkok, according to the release.
If the suspects are convicted, Maynard and Austin face up to seven years in prison while the rest of the group face up to four years in jail.