Seven employees of Israeli airline El Al were arrested by New York police Wednesday on suspicion of shoving thousands of dollars of stolen items down their pants.
The airline caught the baggage handlers by installing a hidden camera in the cargo hold of one of its 747 jets after receiving complaints of items going missing at John F Kennedy Airport in New York City, The Daily Mail reported.
After a five-month investigation, the airline identified seven men with a habit of rifling through passengers’ bags and shoving valuables in their pockets or down their pants.
When arrested, the suspects were found with several watches, including one worth $5,000, sunglasses, a Playstation, cologne, iPads, iPods and jewelry.
“EL AL was happy to assist the Port Authority police in solving this criminal activity,” spokesman Daniel Saadon told the newspaper. “As always, EL AL security closely monitored activities related to this investigation and at no time was security compromised.”
The seven were charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, fourth-degree criminal mischief, petit larceny and attempted petit larceny.