Arrests, warrants in bag theft case at LAX

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Police said they served more than two dozen search warrants and made multiple arrests Wednesday night as part of a months-long investigation into baggage theft at Los Angeles International Airport.

Assistant Chief Michael Hyams of the airport police told The Associated Press that search warrants were being served at 25 locations, including the airport and in Los Angeles-area cities, including Inglewood and Paramount.

Hyams said those being arrested are employees of contracting companies and not the airport itself. He would not give further details.

Television news footage showed police raiding airport terminals and leading out several people in handcuffs.

"It's a disappointment, but a fact of life, that sometimes a few people will succumb to the temptations at LAX," Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon told NBC4. "The actions of these few do not represent the nearly 45,000 individuals who work for the nearly 350 employers here at LAX."

NBC4 reports that workers were accused of stealing luggage and other items in terminals, from airplanes and on the tarmac, according to authorities, and that detectives seized jewelry, clothes and other items at homes where warrants were served.

An estimated 55 million pieces of checked luggage are handled each year at LAX, and a final count regarding the pieces of stolen luggage was expected to be released Thursday, according to NBC4.

With contributions from KPCC staff

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