Two American Airlines baggage handlers at John E Kennedy International Airport have been charged with stealing nearly $300,000 in jewelry from a suitcase that had been checked in and bound for Los Angeles. David Diamond, a licensed jewelry dealer, disembarked from his flight in Los Angeles and discovered that approximately 925 items of jewelry worth an estimated $280,000, was missing and reported the theft to the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD).
"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. In this case, the defendants are accused of betraying that trust and, in the process, of tarnishing the reputation oftheir employer--American Airlines--and other baggage handlers who faithfully carry out their responsibilities each day," says Richard A. Brown, District Attorney in Queens.
"Ensuring the safety and security of 110 million annual air travelers is our number one priority at our airports, and we are vigilant throughout our customers' experience from parking lots to gates and back again. These baggage handlers are now learning the hard way that criminals at our airports will be thoroughly investigated, arrested and fully prosecuted, without exception," adds Port Authority Police Superintendent Samuel J. Plumeri, Jr.
Angelo Riviello and Albert Acevedo, who were charged with second-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.