LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Criminals posing as airport employees are stealing from travelers at Los Angeles International Airport, according to a woman who said she was recently victimized.

Catherine, who declined to share her last name, told KCAL9’s Andrea Fujii that she was approached by a man in an orange vest on Wednesday while she walked to the airport’s international parking garage with her luggage.

She said the suspect asked if she wanted help with her bags, and she agreed because she thought he was a worker.

Catherine said the man stole her iPad off of her luggage cart when she turned her back to look for tip money.

“By the time I came out with the $2, he had already swiped my iPad off the cart, put the smaller luggage in the car, and walked off,” she said.

The victim said the L.A. Airport Police weren’t surprised when they found out what happened.

“Both officers recognized the description. They’re both nodding their heads, saying, ‘Oh, I think I know who you are talking about,’” Catherine said.

Police said overall crime at LAX has been down 27 percent compared to last year.

“We patrol everywhere. Unfortunately, from time to time, this type of theft is going to occur,” said Sgt. Belinda Nettles.

Officials warned travelers to be aware of their belongings, and remember that LAX employees will always wear an airport badge.


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