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Did A Flight Attendant Steal This Pax’s Bag?

Did A Flight Attendant Steal This Pax’s Bag?
Jeff Edwards

A passenger traveling from Cleveland was heartbroken after his backpack went missing while he used the restroom. Police tracked down the bag using surveillance cameras but discovered an airline cabin crew member had picked up the bag and brought it with him on his departing flight. When questioned, the flight attendant offered a dubious explanation for his actions.

A passenger at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) breathed a sigh of relief this week when police reunited him with a carry-on bag containing his driver’s license, passport and wallet. The results of the police investigation, however, should give the flying public pause.

“My wallet’s in there and my passport,” the despairing passenger can be heard telling officers in police body camera footage. “Oh God. Everything.”

According to a report by Cleveland Fox affiliate WJW, after viewing airport security camera footage, the missing carry-on bag was tracked to a flight attendant who had already boarded a departing flight. When the airline employee was questioned as to why he was in possession of the passenger’s belongings, the crew member gave a highly suspect account of his actions. Bodycam footage obtained by the television station shows the exchange between police and the flight attendant.

“Well sir, I saw an unattended bag,” the unidentified airline worker offers as an excuse. “I was gonna give it to the gate agent.”

Cops didn’t appear to buy the dubious sounding explanation.

“So, you’re gonna take an unattended bag,” one of the investigating officers challenged. “You don’t know what’s in it. And you’re gonna take it onto a plane that’s going somewhere with all these people on it?”

In the end, police declined to arrest the crew member and instead suggested that the victim contact prosecutors if he wished to press charges. The extraordinarily lucky flyer had to rush to catch his departing cross-country flight before he could consider that decision.

In this case, it turns out the victim had, in fact, left his personal items unattended while he visited the restroom. The story appears to have a happy ending for everyone involved. Not only did the careless flyer discover that nothing was missing from his bag, but he also managed to catch his departing flight just in the nick of time.

The grateful air traveler took a few precious moments to properly thank police before dashing to make his plane. “Can I give you a hug?” he can be heard asking officers in the footage.


[Featured Image: Pxhere]

View Comments (7)


  1. PHL

    July 18, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    I can’t think of any excuse why someone would have their belongings out of sight for even a millisecond. I would absolutely press charges against the thief. Then I would smack myself silly for letting it happen.

  2. chavala

    July 19, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Let me get this straight. The cops caught an FA stealing someone’s bag redhanded, but didn’t arrest him. So he’s still out there, probably rummaging through pax bags in the overheard while they sleep.

  3. KenTarmac

    July 20, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    NEVER leave a bag or backpack unattended. Period.

  4. jrpallante

    July 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Right on Chavala! They caught a thief and let him go!

  5. RandyN

    July 25, 2019 at 11:06 am

    @KenTarmac A few years ago, at the conclusion of a very stressful trip, I left my roller bag in a landside men’s room and didn’t realize it until I’d cleared TSA. Sounds incredibly stupid, but that’s just how distracted I was.

    Fortunately, it was right where I’d left it.

  6. dhuey


    July 29, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Really impressive police work to track down the guy who took the bag, but…they didn’t arrest the guy right there and then?! I’d say the case against the FA looked very strong. This is someone who knows the workings of airports and airlines thoroughly. If he’s trying to reunite the bag with its owner, he hands it off to someone in the airport — a cop, an information desk, a gate agent, etc. He does not take it with him on his departing flight. “I was gonna give it back” doesn’t usually work when you’re caught with something that doesn’t belong to you and you didn’t seem at all intent on giving it back.

    And yes, quite the bonehead move to leave your bag unattended while you use the restroom, but that has nothing to do with the FA’s conduct.

  7. KimchiExpress

    August 9, 2019 at 7:50 am

    The police will do NOTHING. A blatant theft caught on camera and thief caught red handed by police. That is just way too common in the USA.

    I had a laptop stolen out of the Exec Lounge at a 5 star hotel. Thief caught on camera and a witness identified her. Police did nothing – wouldn’t even ask for my laptop back.

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