Police probe baggage thefts at Los Angeles airport

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Photo - A passenger enters the terminal Thursday March 27, 2014 at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. Police say six people were arrested Wednesday March 26, 2014, after officers served more than two dozen search warrants after a months-long investigation into baggage theft at Los Angeles International Airport. Officials say those arrested were primarily employees or ex-employees of contracting companies hired to handle luggage and do not work for the airport itself. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A passenger enters the terminal Thursday March 27, 2014 at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles. Police say six people were arrested Wednesday March 26, 2014, after officers served more than two dozen search warrants after a months-long investigation into baggage theft at Los Angeles International Airport. Officials say those arrested were primarily employees or ex-employees of contracting companies hired to handle luggage and do not work for the airport itself. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police say a $15,000 camera, Gucci bags, and name-brand clothing and jewelry are among the thousands of dollars in valuables stolen by baggage handlers at Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles police Capt. Raymond Maltez said Thursday that the joint operation with airport police started after police noticed lost and theft reports occurring at the airport more frequently when certain crews handled luggage.

Maltez says while some thieves worked together, most acted on their own, seizing opportunities to pocket items from luggage in transit. He said there was a general culture of acceptance of theft among the baggage handlers.

The thieves targeted bags that were traveling longer distances or had multiple transfers.

Six people have been arrested so far after police served dozens of search warrants Wednesday night.

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