Two employees at Orlando International Airport have been arrested and accused of stealing electronics and other valuables out of cars in airport parking lots and garages.
Anthony W. Mitchell and Deveniess Galarza worked for AMPCO Parking Systems on the midnight shift, which Orlando police think gave them easier access to cars in the parking lots. The two face burglary charges after authorities said they cut into the tops of convertibles and stole items from the vehicles.
"They were able to take advantage of there being less foot traffic, less vehicle traffic and the dark," Orlando police Sgt. Dennis Ahern said.
The rash of burglaries began in October, with police quickly suspecting an employee because the crimes were committed in all of the airport's lots.
Ahern said a tipster led them to Mitchell, a 25-year-old inventory taker, and Galarza, a 21-year-old cashier supervisor.
With help from the Kissimmee Police Department, officers found they were selling stolen items to pawnshops in the Osceola County city, authorities said.
That led to a search of their Kissimmee apartment Thursday, which turned up laptops, satellite radios, GPS systems and other items reported stolen, police said.
"We haven't had time to link up the property we seized from their apartment to all the previous cases, but it's in the thousands of dollars," Ahern said.
Mitchell and Galarza were booked into the Osceola County Jail, under $7,000 and $4,000 bail, respectively, on the charges of burglary.
Meanwhile, one woman will have her stolen laptop quickly returned. The woman reported the burglary to her Jeep when parked in the airport's Red lot earlier this month, according to a police report, and was able to give the serial number for the missing computer.
It was among the items police recovered from the apartment.
"It's an important lesson from this, for people to keep an inventory of their equipment," Ahern said. "They should really try to not leave things of value in their cars."
Handler was part of what Maryland Transportation Authority police called a major felony theft scheme that targeted international travelers.
An Anne Arundel County judge sentenced a former Baltimore baggage handler at Baltimore-Washington International Airport to two years in prison Thursday for stealing from travelers.
There were no homicides, rapes or kidnappings among the nine incidents of violent crime reported in 2006.