After the tragic events of the Asiana Flight 214 crash, a United Airlines employee and his fiancee have been arrested for allegedly stealing luggage that had piled up in the chaos.
Sean Crudup and Raychas Thomas are charged with grand theft and commercial burglary by the San Mateo County District Attorney, who claims that surveillance video inside San Francisco International Airport (SFO) caught the couple stealing luggage, reports CNN.
You might think that you can only commit burglary when you're in someone's home, but Crudup and Thomas are charged with commercial burglary for allegedly stealing luggage from a holding area at SFO.
In California, if a person enters a business or commercial space with the intent to commit theft or another felony, then that person can be found guilty of commercial burglary. It's a second degree burglary crime that is punishable by up to a year behind bars.
Prosecutors will try to prove at Crudup and Thomas' upcoming preliminary hearing that the two defendants entered the building with the requisite intent to take luggage that was not their own.
Grand Theft Luggage?
Although Crudup and Thomas could have been charged with burglary no matter what the value of the luggage, grand theft charges in California require that the property taken is valued at above $950.
Unfortunately for the victims of the luggage theft, at least $6,000 worth of clothing was allegedly taken from the luggage and then exchanged for cash at a local Nordstrom's by Thomas, reports ABC News.
It's a small wonder how Nordstrom's allowed Thomas to convert so much clothing into cash without a receipt, but this evidence alone should suffice to prove up grand theft charges for the couple.
Out on Bail
Both Thomas and Crudup posted bail after their arrests, according to ABC News. Both defendants are free on the condition that they attend their next court hearing.
United employee Crudup pleaded not guilty Friday to all charges, which carry a combined maximum sentence of four years and four months in prison, reports CNN. Thomas' arraignment is set for August 26.
- Couple accused of stealing luggage after Asiana tragedy (USA Today)
- TSA Agent Steals $5K During JFK Security Screen (FindLaw's Blotter)
- 83 Asiana Passengers to Sue Boeing Over Crash (FindLaw's Injured)
- Contortionist Hides in Suitcase to Steal from Travelers' Luggage (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)