Baggage Handler Arrested in Jacksonville Int'l Theft

Security cameras were used in the disappearance of a traveler's credit cards.


A Jacksonville airline baggage handler is behind bars after police said he stole credit cards from the luggage of two first-class travelers during their journey home to Paris.

The thief racked up more than $27,000 in charges at stores including Nike, Circuit City and Kmart, even paying to fill up between 40 and 50 cars with gas in a single day, according to accounts from police and victims.

Rebecca Tordjman, a pharmaceuticals company owner, said she and her husband, Michel, live in France but have a vacation house in St. Augustine. The thief left her husband's computer untouched but stole his French medical identification from the same bag, she said Tuesday.

The Tordjmans reported the theft to French police upon discovering it after some of their carry-on luggage -- which wouldn't fit in the plane's overhead compartment -- was lost and showed up days later.

The couple returned to Jacksonville on Monday and filed a report with airport police, only to be surprised hours later when authorities called them to report an arrest.

"I cannot believe there is only one guy. I'm sure police will discover something big," Rebecca Tordjman said Tuesday, adding that she and her husband were more concerned about airport security than the two stolen credit cards, which were insured.

"If somebody can steal from the luggage, they put can put something in the luggage, too," she said.

Authorities identified the baggage handler as Douglas Wayne Thompson Jr., 20, of Whispering Brook Lane West. He was in jail Tuesday in lieu of $7,500 bail on a grand theft charge.

Atlanta-based Delta spokeswoman Gina Laughlin said Thompson worked for subsidiary Delta Global Services, which hires workers who handle bags and help planes park. She said the company fired him Monday and she knew of no similar investigations involving other employees.

Jacksonville Aviation Authority spokesman Michael Stewart said he believes airport police made an arrest the same day the theft was reported because of surveillance cameras that monitor employee actions.



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