USA: Former baggage handlers sentenced in Norfolk International Airport theft

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two former baggage handlers were sentenced in federal court Monday for stealing items out of checked bags at Norfolk International Airport.

In November 2015, both men pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges.

Chris Arthur Perry received 17 months for his part in a scheme that involved the theft of five guns, a diamond crucifix worth an estimated $10,000, and electronics. Gregory Paul Wingard received 12 months and one day.

Both sentences fell within federal guidelines for the crime – 12 to 18 months.

Prior to the sentencing, federal Judge Robert Doumar spoke at length about the case and heard from one of the victims. Kevin Coolong has a USAirways flight from Norfolk to Maine last winter, when his handgun and 200 rounds of ammunition were stolen. Overall, Investigators say the thefts occurred on various flights over an 18-month period ending in the Spring of 2015.

In victim impact testimony Monday, Coolong told Judge Doumar he believed that Perry and Wingard must have had help in targeting bags that had high value items. Coolong repeated that theory in an interview with 10 On Your Side. “I just can’t believe that these baggage handlers were the only ones involved in the theft of the items from the airport, including my handgun.”

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