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Airport baggage handler charged with theft

An American Airlines baggage-crew chief faces two theft charges after being arrested at Philadelphia International Airport, according to Philadelphia police.

An American Airlines baggage-crew chief faces two theft charges after being arrested at Philadelphia International Airport, according to Philadelphia police.

Christopher Shaw, 37, of Reading, was taken into custody around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, said Officer Christine O'Brien, a police spokeswoman.

A Pennsylvania woman noticed four new articles of clothing missing from her luggage after returning home March 17 on American Flight 892 from Dallas.

The price tags, totaling $550, were still on the items, which were purchased at Galleria Nordstrom in Dallas, police said.

The woman had her Texas condo checked and then contacted Nordstrom, which later discovered that the items had been returned to its King of Prussia store. Philadelphia police took over the investigation, which led to Shaw's arrest. A hearing is set for May 1.

American Airlines helped solve this case, said corporate spokesman Tim Smith.

"Any time we have any suspicions or become aware of a situation, we're going to get involved and be very proactive in rooting out anything that's not right," he said. "This specific case drew our suspicion in several ways . . . and one thing led to another."

He called the case unusual. "We have roughly 75,000 honest, very hard-working employees," he said.

In an unrelated incident, Transportation Safety Administration investigators removed a lead TSA official from his airport duties Wednesday for alleged theft from passenger bags.

TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said the agency's Office of Investigations was overseeing the allegations.

"He hasn't been charged as of yet or dismissed," she said. "If the Office of Inspections deems it appropriate, we could present a case to the U.S. Attorney's Office."

Davis would not identify the TSA official except to say he is a mid-level employee involved in passenger bag screenings at the airport. She could not confirm reports that the alleged theft involved electronics or say whether the individual was being paid during the investigation.

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