Seven men who worked as contract baggage handlers for El Al Airlines have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars worth of items from the luggage of passengers flying into and out of JFK Airport.
The men, identified as Tristan Bredwood, 22, of St. Albans; Udhoo Doodnauth, 27, of Richmond Hill; Julio Salas, 44, of Corona; Oshaine Christie, 22, of Rosedale; Dashawn Schooler, 25, of Long Island and Romaine Smith, 25, and Nkosi Cunningham, 24, both of Brooklyn, were arrested after they were allegedly caught going through personal baggage on surveillance video that was installed by the airline in the wake of numerous customer complaints of theft.
The defendants were charged in separate complaints with various charges, including third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, third-, fourth-, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, fourth-degree criminal mischief, petit larceny and attempted petit larceny. They are due back in court later this month, except for Cunningham, who is scheduled to be before a judge on Oct. 24.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the seven men were allegedly caught on camera going through the luggage and taking items, such as iPhones, jewelry and cash, between April 1, when the cameras were installed, through Aug. 28. Brown said the video allegedly showed the suspects placing items in their pockets and down their pants.
The suspects were in charge of handling baggage that flew on one specific 747 plane that flew regularly between JFK and Tel Aviv.
Brown added that the suspects allegedly confessed to Port Authority Police that they had stolen the items and some were recovered during the execution of search warrants on the suspects’ homes and cars.
Among the stolen valuables were a $3,000 Seiko watch, Valentino sunglasses, two Sony PlayStations, an iPad, two iPhones and cameras.