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AirTag In Lost Luggage Helped Police Catch The Airport Worker Culprit

Sheriffs deputies in Florida were helped by a traveler who put a tracking device in her bag, identifying an airport worker accused of stealing more than $16,0000 in goods from passengers’ luggage. Giovanni De Luca, 19, a baggage handler at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, was arrested on Aug. 10 and charged with two felony counts of grand theft, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said. De Luca, who worked for a subcontractor, had stolen from two passengers The New York Times reports. On July 14, the first passenger flew on a Delta/Air France flight into Destin-Fort Walton Beach, but her luggage never arrived. Her bag contained clothes, makeup and other items worth $1,648. In the bag was an Apple AirTag, a Bluetooth-enabled tracking device that sends its location to the user to help locate lost items. Placing tracking devices has become a popular option for travelers this summer as airport chaos has led to lost or delayed baggage.

The passenger told investigators she received a notification two weeks after she landed that the device had been active on a street in Mary Esther, a town near the airport in the Florida Panhandle. Deputies found De Luca after finding that he lived on the street mentioned. A Delta subcontractor later told the sheriff’s office that he saw De Luca go through another passenger’s checked bag at the outgoing baggage carousel. De Luca was working on Aug. 9 when a man flying from Destin-Fort Walton Beach reported to the sheriff’s office that $15,000 in jewelry and sunglasses was stolen from his luggage. Deputies confronted De Luca at his home, where they were able to recover the missing jewelry and sunglasses, and arrested him. De Luca admitted to going through the woman’s missing bag on July 14 and destroying the AirTag when he found it. Her items were not recovered.

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