ABC15 exclusive: Investigation shows multiple bags stolen from Phoenix Sky Harbor baggage claim

PHOENIX - Next time you travel, keep an extra eye on your luggage once you're at baggage claim.

Authorities are investigating a series of incidents at Phoenix Sky Harbor in recent months, involving multiple pieces of luggage being stolen off of airline carousels.

Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos confirmed that there has been a recent spike in luggage thefts over the last two months.

Martos said authorities typically receive one report a month involving a piece of luggage being stolen. However, multiple sources are confirming that after Sept. 2013, the amount of reports authorities have received has increased significantly.

Authorities say they have received eight reports in October alone.

Surveillance video shows multiple people between September and October removing luggage from airline carousels, some even using the PHX Sky Train as their getaway, sources tell ABC15.

Authorities said they have not identified any of the suspects and it is unclear whether or not the individuals involved are working together. They said that one individual can be seen on the surveillance video multiple times.

This is not the first time Sky Harbor officials and police have worked to catch thieves stealing luggage -- in 2009, the ABC15 Investigators exposed the same problem.

Airport officials said that they remain vigilant in protecting passengers' bags, but travelers and airport employees told ABC15 they're upset that more isn't being done to protect the personal property.

Airport officials said that security conducts random identity checks at baggage claim where passengers are asked to show ID to verify they own the luggage they've grabbed.

The airlines also move left-over bags to their individual holding cells where passengers can pick them up at a later time, especially when a flight is delayed, canceled or a bag is lost during a connecting flight.

Still, passengers and employees tell ABC15 they don't think enough is being done.

Anyone who recognizes the individuals or has information related to the recent thefts should call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6141.

Each airline has their own rules when it comes to making a claim for lost or stolen luggage. Southwest Airlines says on their website that customers must make an in-person claim within four hours of arriving at their destination.

Delta Airlines tells customers on their website to file a claim with one of their representatives.  Each airline has their own specific guidelines when it comes to reimbursing passengers.


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