Passenger Finds His Laptop Stolen by Airplane Cleaning Crew

Dec 19, 2018

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Leaving a personal item behind on a plane could be a traveler’s worst nightmare. When it happens, typically the only option is to file a claim with the airline’s lost and found department. However, when losing an electronic device, you may be able to take matters into your own hands and track down it using a location app.

That is exactly what one airline passenger did after he accidentally left his laptop on a Delta aircraft at the Atlanta airport last Thursday. After using a tracking app to find the location of his laptop, the man was surprised to see where it had actually ended up.

“I called Delta, tried to get them to track it down,” the man told WSB-TV. “They just put me through to lost and found and I left a voicemail.”

Instead of waiting for a call back from the airline, he decided to do some detective work of his own. The passenger opened up the Find My iPhone app on his phone and tracked down his laptop to an address less than 10 minutes away from the airport. He reported the information to the police, who then went to the address and spoke with the man living there.

The man admitted to the detectives that he cleans planes at the airport for a living and that he had taken the laptop off the plane and sold it for $500. Luckily, authorities were able to persuade the swiper to call the buyer and buy back the laptop. By the end of the ordeal, the original owner of the laptop was reunited with his device.

“Probably a lot of people after a long day of travel forget phones, laptops, whatever — and the fact that it can be so brazenly taken right out of an airport is frustrating and I think a little bit scary in the bigger picture,” he said.

A Delta spokesperson said that they were looking into the matter and that it was unlikely that the culprit was a Delta employee since they subcontract their cleaning crews. The local police said that the investigation is ongoing and charges could be pending.

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