Hidden Camera at Airport Catches Pick-Pocket
Posted on 28th Aug 2012 @ 11:30 AM
Hidden cameras prove their worth once again as a thief is caught stealing a wallet from an 11-year-old boy at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.
The young boy was flying from Fort Lauderdale to New York City, making his annual trip to see his grandmother. Children as young as five are allowed to fly alone; the parent or guardian simply pays an additional fee at the check-in station at have a flight attendant monitor the child throughout the flight.
According to the investigation, the job of ensuring that young Andre Deshong got to his seat safely fell to a JetBlue Airways gate agent. It was this same agent, 33-year-old Marsha Henry, who was seen on camera walking away from the area with the boy’s wallet.
This incident is the latest in the South Florida area that has involved a theft at an airport being caught thanks to a hidden camera. This appears to be an evolving trend.
In May of this year 44-year-old Sean Maxwell and his wife, 42-year-old Lorina Flint, were arrested after being caught on hidden camera stealing luggage from the luggage carousel. They were charged in five different incidents at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and at Miami International Airport since early March.
In February, police arrested flight passenger Igor Ramos after images caught him allegedly palming a $6,500 Rolex from a security checkpoint bin.
Andre’s father, Kamal Deshong, of North Lauderdale, says that he has made it his intention to seek prosecution against Marsha Henry. The stolen wallet was later recovered.
“He’s been flying alone for years. You pay extra so he can be safe. You never think this will happen,” the father said on Thursday. “There are a lot of kids who travel alone and I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to others.”
According to police reports, the incident took place on Aug. 7 at JetBlue’s F-10 gate of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The father said he placed the child’s wallet and an identification card inside a lanyard pouch provided by the airlines. The wallet contained $200 in cash.
The boy told investigators that Henry walked him to his seat and then took some paperwork and the wallet from the pouch. He thought his wallet would be returned when he arrived in New York, the boy told the father.
Deshong said he got a call hours later from his mother in New York saying the son made it safely, but not the wallet.
“I knew immediately something was wrong,” he said. “I went straight to the airport.”
After a review of surveillance videos at the gate, investigators charged Henry with petit theft and ordered her to appear in court on Sept. 18. A JetBlue spokeswoman said Henry has been suspended pending the outcome of the case.
Henry could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
The father said the airlines has already refunded him the $100 “unaccompanied minor” fee. He was told the company is sending him a $200 check.
Deshong believes the incident “was isolated” and said he plans to continue sending Andre to see his grandmother each summer.
The U.S. Department of Transportation doesn’t keep track of air passengers by age, but has a safety pamphlet for children flying alone.
Officials with the Transportation Security Administration declined to release the video, citing airport security laws.