Woman charged in connection with luggage theft at SLC International Airport

This is some of the luggage stolen on Jan. 3, 2022 from the Salt Lake City International Airport. Photo: Salt Lake City Police Department

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 27, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A woman was arrested in West Jordan Wednesday after two female suspects were seen stealing baggage earlier this month at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Suspect Leticia Marie Herrera, 40, was charged with:

  • Theft, a second-degree felony
  • Unlawful acquisition/possession/transfer financial card, a third-degree felony
  • Three counts of unlawful use of financial transaction card, a class B misdemeanor

The case

This investigation started at 6:53 p.m. Jan 3, 2022, when SLCPD Airport Division Officers responded to a luggage theft from the airport baggage claim area, a statement from the Salt Lake City Police Department says.

“The victim told officers the property stolen from her was valued at $6,000 and included multiple financial cards,” it says. “Through the investigation, detectives identified a woman involved in the theft as Leticia Herrera.”

Herrera’s probable cause statement says that on Jan. 3, she and another female were dropped off in a gray delivery van on the pick up curb area.

“A/P (arrested person) carried a side purse. Other woman carried a backpack. Both women entered the baggage claim area at the Salt Lake City International Airport and walked to the bathroom together, then around to different baggage carousels.

“The A/P and woman were at baggage carousel #10 together. The other woman walked to the straight part of the carousel away from the A/P. The A/P then ventured to Bag Carousel #9 and began looking at the luggage. The A/P grabbed a dark gray hard sided luggage with lines on the side. After a brief interaction, the A/P left the baggage area to the pick up curb area where she loaded the luggage and got into the gray van.

“The other woman grabbed two more luggages off bag carousel #7 and left to the pick up curb area where she loaded the luggage and got into the same van then left the area.”

The probable cause statement says the two suspects went to Jordan Landing, and were seen at the Best Buy cash register, where two computers were purchased on the victim’s American Express card.

“The A/P is observed using the card to complete the transaction. The individuals are also observed in Bath and Body Works where the A/P is the only person at the register and a purchase was made on the victim’s American Express card.”

The suspects were also seen in Famous Footwear, where the victim’s card was used again.

“The total cost of these purchases valued at approximately $1,689.47,” the police statement says.

Herrera was released on conditions including she appear in court at the scheduled time, commit no crimes, and attend twice monthly Criminal Justice System meetings or appropriate classes, among other requirements, court documents say.

Tips for travelers

The SLCPD also issued tips for travelers hoping to avoid or limit losses when traveling, including carrying valuable or irreplaceable items in carry-on luggage, and keeping it in your sight (knowing some items are required to be checked.)

Other tips include:

  • Reconsidering purchasing luxury-branded luggage as this could be an allure to potential thieves
  • Making your checked luggage distinctive using stickers, tape, ribbon or consider purchasing a brightly colored suitcase.
  • Keeping a record of what you pack and take a photo of your belongings and your luggage. Photos can be helpful during a police investigation and for insurance purposes.
  • After landing, avoiding unnecessary delays and head to the baggage pick-up area immediately so your bag is not left unattended when on the baggage carousel.
  • Ensuring your bag is clearly labeled with your contact information. For privacy reasons, an address is not necessary, but a name and phone number should be included.
  • If you believe someone has stolen your luggage, be sure to file a police report and file reports with the airline and TSA.
  • Reporting anything suspicious to an airport/airline official or airport police.

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