Police looking for 2 men suspected of stealing bags at Sea-Tac

SEA-TAC INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- Port of Seattle police are releasing pictures of two men suspected of stealing luggage at Sea-Tac and asking for the public's help in identifying them.

Police didn’t say exactly what the thieves did, but passengers at Sea-Tac said Wednesday that it wouldn’t be hard to steal there. No one is checking when you take a bag from the carousel or walk out.

“I don’t know anybody personally who’s had a bag stolen, but it doesn’t surprise me that it happens,” traveler Casey Murgell said at Sea-Tac. “There’s so many bags and people get away with what they think they can get away with.”

“I think that’s a terrible thing to do, but I also think it’s very easy to do,” adds Barbara Leondar. “If an attractive bag comes around on the carousel, it might have something appealing inside it. I can see there would be a temptation.”

An airport spokesperson says baggage theft is not a common crime. About 250 to 290 thefts are reported each year, but that’s less than one-hundredth of 1 percent of the more than 50 million bags that go through the airport on an annual basis.

But passengers say even one theft is too many, if it’s your bag that is taken.

“It’s very frightening, because you have so many valuable personal belongings and you may not ever get it back,” said traveler Ann Purnell.

There are cameras throughout baggage claim, and signs that say the area is being monitored, but there weren't any apparent security officers on patrol there Wednesday.

“There’s never enough security in almost any place you can think of,” Leondar said. “I’m not sure adding security in an airport would make things better and would justify the cost.”

“I think it needs to be balanced,” Murgell added. “We certainly don’t need a small army of people just standing around watching bags to check tickets and introduce additional complexity.”

They said they’ll simply keep a closer eye on their own bags and their surroundings from now on.