Police served more than two dozen search warrants and made multiple arrests as part of a months-long investigation into baggage theft at Los Angeles International Airport, US authorities said.
Detectives and officers from the Los Angeles and airport police departments served warrants and seized property last night at 25 different locations, including the airport itself and in Los Angeles-area cities, said Assistant Chief Michael Hyams of the airport police.
The investigation, which involved officers going undercover among baggage handlers, began after a string of reports of luggage thefts from terminals, runways and planes, police said.
"We believe that there has been a culture of being able to take property that wasn't theirs, and that's what we want to be able to put a stop to," Captain Ray Maltez told KABC-TV.
Those arrested were primarily employees or ex-employees of contracting companies hired to handle luggage and do not work for the airport itself, Hyams said.
Television news footage showed police raiding airport terminals and leading out several people in handcuffs, many of them wearing yellow reflective safety vests. The raids were first reported by KNBC-TV.