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In-Flight Thefts On The Rise At LAX

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Cases of passengers breaking into other people’s carry-on bags during flights are on the rise at Los Angeles International Airport.

Since 2011, airport police have received 130 reports of theft aboard flights, which includes items taken during the flight or after the plane landed.

Virginia Blumenthal of Riverside said the in-flight crime was something she never imagined.

“I did not know what I was doing with my carry-on,” she said.

Last year, the 65-year-old criminal defense attorney was on her way to LAX from Buenos Aires. She said after the flight landed, “I got my carry-on luggage out and the lady across the aisle said to me, ‘Is that your carry-on?’ I said, ‘Yes, why?’ She said, ‘Because a man, when you went to the restroom, took it out and took some things out of it.’”

Blumenthal said the thief got away with jewelry, a camera and her iPad.

Although she reported the theft, she never recovered the items.

The attorney told CBS2’s Suraya Fadel she now travels differently.

“I now carry any valuables, passport, money, jewelry, in my purse…that I keep directly under my seat and I take it to the restroom with me,” said Blumenthal.

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