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8 BAGGAGE HANDLERS CHARGED WITH THEFT

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Eight baggage handlers for American Airlines could face five years in prison after the FBI arrested them for pilfering high-ticket items from checked bags at National Airport.

Airport police and the FBI installed hidden cameras in the baggage area and recorded numerous instances of the workers breaking into baggage. The workers would examine the contents and remove valuables such as 35mm cameras, video cameras, jewelry and laptop computers, Anthony E. Daniels, assistant director in charge of the Washington field office, said Thursday.The eight were charged in U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Authorities said American Airlines officials suspected a problem, notified police and cooperated with the investigation.

Each of the defendants faces up to five years in prison without parole.

Another baggage handler was charged Wednesday with stealing a Discover credit card from bulk mail transported by the airline and using the card for personal purchases. He admitted stealing other Discover cards from the bulk mail, according to papers filed in the case.