ATLANTA -- The security camera video, revealing thieves looting luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, tells a startling story. Looted luggage lying in a field across from the airport, drives the point home!
"You haven't even seen all the stuff over here in the woods," Lea McCombs said as she walked us over to the bags, flung wide open, their contents spilling out.
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It was the second time, in three days, that she had found stolen luggage from Delta airlines flights, left behind the place where she works.
She said she called College Park Police. However, she said they told her it wasn't their jurisdiction and that she should contact the passengers, whose names were on the bags.
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On Friday, Oct. 26, Delta retrieved two bags. On Monday, Oct. 29, four more were found in the same place just off Roosevelt Road near the airport. Delta was called again. Lea said she got frustrated by Delta's slow response, so she called 11Alive.
We came out. While we were there, one traveler came to pick up all that was left from his carry-on bag.
"Well he actually left my laptop, he kept my camera, kept my Blackberry," said the man, who did not want to be identified.
Lea found him by calling the number on business cards that were scattered around in the field.
Now, she wanted something done with the other bags that were left behind. We contacted all the passengers, whose names were on the bags.
David Noren, of Dunwoody, who flew in on a flight from Vegas on Saturday Oct. 27, wanted us to deliver his missing bag.
"See your bag there?" we asked when we showed up.
"Yup," he said, as he reached into the van and grabbed it. "So, I got a call from Delta. They actually didn't say anything about it being stolen or lost. They just said, 'We apologize'."
We turned over all of the other bags to Atlanta Police, at the airport.
Some bags had priority tags on them. One even had Delta's prestigious Delta Diamond Medallion tag attached. It didn't make a difference. Thieves were able to take them too.
Delta would not give us an on-camera interview to talk about our recent investigation into thefts at their baggage carousels. Instead, the company spokesperson, Morgan Durrant, sent us the following statement:
Delta is disheartened by the discovery of what appears to be stolen bags in a vacant lot. Theft in any form is unacceptable and Delta is investigating the incident in cooperation with law enforcement. We will work with our customers on a case by case basis to make this right and certainly apologize to them for the inconvenience.
"Always thought it was interesting everybody could grab anything they want," Noren said.
The airlines, operating in the North domestic terminal, post uniform security guards around the carousels, who do random tag checks. Delta does not.
"Glad you got your bag back?" we asked.
"Thank you!" Noren responded.
If you suspect your luggage is stolen, you can contact the Atlanta Police Airport Precinct at 404-530-6630 or call 911.