A United Airlines employee and his wife are accused of stealing luggage of passengers diverted by the Asiana crash at the San Francisco International Airport.
Prosecutors in San Mateo County said Sean Sharif Crudup, 44, and a customer service representative at United, and his wife Raychas Elizabeth Thomas, 32, both of Richmond, were charged with grand theft and burglary.
Karen Guidotti, San Mateo County’s chief deputy district attorney, alleged the couple stole luggage of passengers who were supposed to fly into SFO on July 8 but were diverted because of the Asiana Airlines crash two days earlier, which killed three and injured 182.
The couple's luggage arrived before they did. And when the couple - also, coincidentally from Richmond - went to pick up their bags, they weren't there, prosecutors said.
Guidotti said there is surveillance video that shows Crudup handing the stolen bags to his wife. She declined to provide a copy of the video to NBC Bay Area.
United said in a released statement they were assisting police. "We hold our employees to the highest standard and have zero tolerance for any theft. We are assisting the San Francisco Police Department in this investigation, and this employee has been held out of service," said United spokesman Luke Punzenberger.
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Inside the bags were items from Nordstrom, which investigators say Thomas returned for some $5,000 at the Pleasanton department store. More property from the victims was found at their home, prosecutors said. Guidotti would not elaborate on the specific clothing items.
The victims who lost their luggage were a Richmond couple.
Crudup pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of grand theft and burglary and was being held at San Mateo County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail. Thomas posted $50,000 bail. Neither could be reached by phone for immediate comment on Monday.
The two are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 26.