A traveler who put a monitoring system in her bag helped sheriff’s deputies in Florida determine an airport employee who was accused of stealing greater than $16,000 in items from passengers’ baggage, the authorities mentioned.
Giovanni De Luca, 19, a baggage handler at Destin-Fort Walton Seaside Airport, was arrested on Aug. 10 and charged with two felony counts of grand theft, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned. The sheriff’s workplace mentioned Mr. De Luca, who labored for a subcontractor on the airport, had stolen from two passengers.
On July 14, the primary passenger flew on a Delta/Air France flight into Destin-Fort Walton Seaside, however her baggage by no means arrived, based on an arrest report. Her bag contained garments, make-up and different objects value $1,648, based on the arrest report.
The bag additionally included an Apple AirTag, a Bluetooth-enabled monitoring system that sends its location to its person to assist them find misplaced objects. Inserting such monitoring units in baggage has grow to be a pretty possibility for a lot of vacationers this summer season as airport chaos has led to extra misplaced or delayed baggage.
The passenger informed investigators that she acquired a notification on July 31, two weeks after she landed, that the system had been energetic on a avenue in Mary Esther, a city close to the airport within the Florida Panhandle. Deputies appeared by means of the addresses of airport staff and located that Mr. De Luca lived on the road, based on the arrest report.
Days later, on Aug. 4, an worker for a Delta Air Strains subcontractor filed a report with the sheriff’s workplace that he noticed Mr. De Luca undergo one other passenger’s checked bag on the outgoing baggage carousel, based on the arrest report.
Mr. De Luca was once more engaged on Aug. 9 when a person flying from Destin-Fort Walton Seaside reported to the sheriff’s workplace that $15,000 in jewellery and sun shades had been stolen from his baggage, based on the arrest report.
The following day, sheriff’s deputies confronted Mr. De Luca at his house, the place they recovered the lacking jewellery and sun shades, and arrested him, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned. He additionally admitted to going by means of the girl’s lacking bag from July 14 and destroying the AirTag when he discovered it, however her objects weren’t recovered, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.
He was booked in Okaloosa County on Aug. 10 and launched the subsequent day, based on jail information. Mr. De Luca couldn’t be reached for remark, and it was unclear if he had a lawyer.
A Delta spokesperson mentioned in a press release that the airline was “absolutely cooperating” within the investigation.
“Delta has zero tolerance for this alleged conduct by anybody related to Delta, together with those that work for contractors,” the spokesperson mentioned.
Whereas AirTags and different monitoring units have been used to thwart theft, privateness teams have additionally sounded alarms about their use to abet stalking or monitoring folks with out their information. Apple mentioned in February that it could make adjustments to make it harder for folks to make use of AirTags to trace folks with out their information, although critics mentioned the steps didn’t go far sufficient.