A United Airlines employee and his girlfriend have been charged with grand theft and burglary after allegedly stealing luggage in the chaotic aftermath of the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.
"It was a crime of opportunity and the opportunity was there," said Sergeant Wes Matsuura of the San Mateo County Police to KTVU.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, luggage built up at SFO when passengers were rerouted after the crash. While most of the luggage was eventually returned to its owners, some of the bags went missing.
CNN reported that United Airlines employee Sean Crudup and his fiancée Raychas Thomas were suspected of taking the bags after Thomas allegedly returned $5,000 of stolen items to a local Nordstrom.
"Our victim is well-known at Nordstrom apparently," said Matsuura. "Nordstrom contacted her, they identified items going back and forth, and it was reported that the person who returned them had no affiliation with the victim."
Police later checked surveillance cameras and reportedly found Crudup stealing several bags and passing them off to Thomas and another woman.
According to KTVU, a police search of Crudup and Thomas' home revealed more stolen items.
Both Crudup and Thomas are currently free on bail. Thomas reportedly pleaded not guilty on July 26. Thomas is scheduled to appear in court on August 26 for arraignment.
Three people were killed during the deadly July 6 crash, and dozens were injured. CNN interviewed some passengers at SFO weeks later to get some opinions on the luggage theft allegations.
"Some people lost their lives and then you have a guy going after their bags?" asked a passenger. "That's despicable."