A northwest Indiana man who worked as a baggage handler at Midway AIrport was making money on the side by stealing laptop computers from passengers’ checked luggage and pawning them for cash, prosecutors allege.
Salvador Johnson, 44, of Gary, Ind., was charged Thursday with one count of felony theft, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
On Friday, Judge Adam Bourgeois ordered him held on a $250,000 bond.
Midway authorities began receiving numerous reports of thefts of Apple computers and other laptops from baggage checked onto Southwest Airlines planes, a release from the state’s attorney’s office said.
Johnson was identified as a suspect because his work station at the airport was located near a security screening area where computers are inspected. This allowed him to see what types of computers were in specific bags, according to the release, and he would later steal them.
A search of the Johnson’s home recovered numerous Apple and other laptops, prosecutors said, and pawn shop records showing that he had pawned numerous computers.
If convicted, Johnson faces up to five years in prison. A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 15.