Airport luggage carousels are easy theft targets. That may be the lesson of 68 pieces of baggage that turned up in a trash bin Tuesday near George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, says the Houston Chronicle. “It sounds like a hit-or-miss holiday grab bag,” said Tom Parsons, who operates Bestfares.com. “They probably grabbed enough to fill up a little van, then went off somewhere and rifled through it.” Investigators wouldn’t talk about the possibility that the theft was an inside job by airport employees. Parsons theorized that thieves went from one terminal to another and picked up a couple of bags at each place. “Some bags will sit there on the carousel and go around for three or four laps, and that’s a good sign of a missed connection. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that maybe nobody is going to claim this bag,” he said.
Houston police said the stolen luggage came from “as many as nine different airlines.” Police said they were working with customs officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but the FBI said it was no longer on the case. In October, Continental Airlines reported 6.09 “mishandled” bags per 1,000 passengers, or one bag per 164 passengers.