Police investigating a string of guns missing from luggage at O'Hare Airport have arrested a man for allegedly stealing a bag containing ammunition.
Thomas Goodman, 52, of Chicago, was charged with misdemeanor theft after plainclothes officers saw him steal the bag from a United Airlines carousel on Thanksgiving Day, said Michael Patton, the Chicago Police commander at O'Hare. Police have not tied Goodman to a string of at least 10 guns stolen from luggage since Jan. 2, Patton said.
The bag belonged to a woman transporting the ammunition legally, Patton said. The woman also had a bag containing a gun, but Goodman did not take it, Patton said.
Police do not know how Goodman singled out the bag containing the ammunition, Patton said.
Airport worker Gerald Trebicki, 25, of Chicago, also was snared in police surveillance launched earlier this year because of the gun thefts. He was arrested Nov. 20 for allegedly stealing cases of beer and soda shipped on American Airlines, Patton said.
Both Goodman and Trebicki were charged with misdemeanor theft.
Patton said the gun-theft investigation is continuing, and no arrests have been made in connection with the missing weapons.
FIVE OF 10 GUNS RECOVERED
The guns were reported stolen from luggage checked through United Airlines, police said. Five of the weapons were later recovered in United's storage area. Most were pistols, but one was an M-4 assault weapon.
Among the theft victims were a Chicago Police officer, a soldier deploying overseas, a sailor and a soap opera star, police said. Earlier this year, two United employees were questioned in the gun thefts, police said.
In addition to the gun thefts, an off-duty Chicago Police officer reported 50 rounds of ammunition were missing from his suitcase Sept. 28. Two guns in his luggage were undisturbed, police said.
United has tightened security as a result of the investigation, police said.
About a dozen guns a day are checked in luggage through United at O'Hare. Gun owners must fill out a declaration form at the counter. A gun is placed in a locked, sealed box, and ammunition is placed in a separate box, Patton said. The boxes are then packed into luggage.
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No charges have been brought against the employees, who were suspected of stealing up to 10 guns.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been "a handful" of firearm thefts from luggage being handled by United personnel.
Several handguns have been stolen after being checked by passengers on UA flights departing O'Hare Int'l Airport.
As many as a dozen guns disappeared from bags checked at the United terminal this year and in 2005.