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PD: Man steals $16,000 worth of luggage from Sky Harbor

PD: Man steals suitcases from Sky Harbor Airport
Posted at 11:48 AM, Aug 23, 2017

A Tempe man has been arrested for stealing suitcases from luggage carousels at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport over the course of two days.

Phoenix police report that on August 7, 38-year-old James Bzoski stole two suitcases belonging to two separate travelers from a carousel in Terminal 3 at Sky Harbor Airport. 

Police say after the theft Bzoski left the airport in a white 2002 Toyota RAV4. On August 17, a relative of Bzoski allegedly stole another suitcase from a carousel at Terminal 3 and left in the same RAV4 driven by Bzoski.

Bzoski was located and arrested the next day at his home in Tempe. Upon his arrest, Bzoski reportedly admitted to the thefts saying they thought of the plan while driving around.

Police say the value of the property taken was over $16,000. Bzoski is being held without bond on burglary charges since he is on felony release.

"I can say - it used to be a lot simpler," laughed David Stoller.

He is the owner of Suitcases & More and has been in business for more than 30 years.

"There's security in anything you do - it's important," Stoller explained. "Whether it's locking your front door of your house or locking your suitcase - it's all equal."

Stoller also said suspects like Bzoski may not be too comfortable swiping your stuff if your bag stand out from the crowd.

"I would go run after them," passenger Kristi Coleman laughed. "Because I have a lot of stuff that I take back and forth that's really personal. So, I would go after them to get it."

Coleman said she deliberately mis-matches her luggage to deter would-be luggage thieves; complete with a Boston Red Sox duffle bag when she is not even a fan of the team.

Years ago at Sky Harbor, passengers used to have to match your ticket to the tag on the bag with an attendant at the claim carousel. But, that tactic was cut to save money.

Ever since a high-profile incident back in 2009, Sky Harbor said - they have upped security.

That incident when a man and his wife were accused of stealing more than 1,000 pieces of luggage for years.

Sky Harbor refused an on-camera interview about the incident but did release the following statement: "As you know, when you check a bag at the airport, the airline takes responsibility for it until it is returned to you. While airlines no longer check bag tags to save money, passengers are always subject to random checks of bag tags by Police, Airport and airline personnel. Police have also assisted by increasing security patrols and surveillance of the baggage claim areas at Sky Harbor."