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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Luggage, Please

BY Wil Cruz

A sting captured by security cameras nabbed two sticky-fingered airport workers who swiped electronics planted by authorities, officials said.

Brian Burton, 27, and Antwon Simmons, 26, stole a laptop and cell phone from the decoy luggage as it moved through Kennedy Airport, Port Authority officials said.

"When air travelers check their luggage with an airline, there is an implicit trust that their bags and their contents will meet them at their destination," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. "The defendants are accused of betraying that trust."

Burton, an officer with the Transportation Security Administration, was videotaped July 7 pilfering through the Miami-bound suitcase in an airport screening room while Simmons, a baggage handler, looked on.

The thieves also switched the luggage tags, hoping to conceal their handiwork, officials said.

The suitcase was a trap set by the Transportation Security Administration and Delta Air Lines.

They stuffed the luggage with a lap top, an iPod and two cell phones, prosecutors said.

The pilfering pair - who had been on cops' radar, a source said - took the bait, failing the so-called integrity test.

Burton, of Queens, and Simmons, of Brooklyn, were awaiting arraignment last night on charges of grand larceny, possession of stolen property and falsifying business records.

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