Former SFO baggage handler accused of stealing sentenced

August 21, 2013 1:40:25 PM PDT
A former United Airlines baggage handler at San Francisco International Airport who stole items from travelers' luggage after it had been checked must pay his victims more than $30,000 in restitution, a San Mateo County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday.

George Reyes, 45, of San Francisco, pleaded no contest on Aug. 1 to felony embezzlement and theft, and was sentenced to six months in county jail and three years' supervised probation, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Today, Reyes was ordered to pay a total of $32,366 in restitution to 21 victims. The restitution amount for each victim ranged from $150 to $6,000.

Reyes was arrested after San Francisco police officers with the department's airport division conducted a sting operation in May in which they planted iPads and purses in luggage and placed GPS trackers on the items, prosecutors said.

The items were taken from the bags, and GPS trackers revealed that they were inside Reyes' car as he drove home from work the day of the sting, according to the district attorney's office.

United Airlines had received more than 50 complaints of personal property being stolen from checked luggage, and an investigation into the complaints showed that Reyes was working at the time of the thefts, according to prosecutors.

Reyes began serving his sentence on Aug. 1.

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