“Cameras. Laptop computers. Flat-screen televisions. Cellphones. Jewelry. Even 5-foot-tall African masks.”
(Photo courtesy of Connecticut State Police)
That’s the way a Hartford Courant writer starts off his article about the arrest of a “band of thieving baggage handlers” at Bradley International Airport. Some of the 11 people arrested worked for Delta Air Lines, others worked for Delta Global Services, which handled ground crew duties for Delta flights.
In statements to police, some of those arrested said that the thefts had taken place at least since 2006. According to arrest warrant affidavits, the thieves would rifle passengers’ bags as they unloaded them from the cargo holds of Delta aircraft. They would shove cameras and laptops into their pants, then hide the items above the ceiling in their locker room.
So if you do travel through BDL, be sure to keep an eye on your belongings. But also make time to see the three patch-sized embroidered scenes created by Raymond Materson to honor the 1994 Special Olympics.
Materson was in prison when he made the patches and unraveled his socks to get the colored thread to use in his artwork. Once out of prison, Materson kept sewing. His work is now highly prized and displayed in museums and in art galleries. Here’s an example of his recent work: a portrait of Queen Victoria.
Maybe BDL’s Band of Luggage Thieves could learn a new skill.