Why Thieves Prefer Black Bags
Yeah, this story’s everywhere, about the Phoenix couple who made a living stealing luggage off the airport carousel. Police found almost a thousand suitcases in their house.
Not a single report has pointed out that the stolen luggage is almost all black. I described this strategy in a post more than a year ago, and in my book way before that. This is an M.O. This is something to notice and learn from.
Thieves prefer to steal black luggage because so much of it looks alike. If the thief is caught red-handed by the bag’s owner, he only has to say sorry, it looks just like mine. And he’s out of there. Scot-free.
Look at the photos on the right. This is just a fraction of the bag booty as it was gathered on the thieves’ property. The bags we see are almost all black.
The bag-boosters are not rocket surgeons. Not a lot of brain power goes into concocting a brilliant strategy. These two, Keith and Stacy King, traipsed into the baggage area straight from the parking lot. They might not have been caught had they walked up a level, then come down the escalators as if from the gates.
They’re not the first to steal baggage off the conveyor belts. Earlier this year, a man was arrested at Dallas Fort Worth airport. He admitted taking over 400 bags, and police linked him to at least 600. He also “worked” at airports in Houston and Tulsa, allegedly stealing a number of suitcases every day. And long before that, a Las Vegas man regularly supplied a second-hand clothing store with the stuff from bags stolen off McCarran’s baggage belt. [Linked to above.]
After 9/11, airports moved security staff from arrivals to departures. With no bag tag checkers, anyone can saunter out with anything. We passengers have minimal control. We can get to the carousel promptly, but what happens when bags get lost or delayed, or the bags make it but we are late? You’ve seen the jumbles of suitcases massed outside baggage service offices in arrivals halls. Do they look protected? At the most, they’re penned in by a crowd-control ribbon. No one will take responsibility. Not the airlines. Not the airports. Not TSA. Not police.