Baggage handler Salvador Johnson worked in an area at
where he could see results of security screening, so he knew which bags to open and remove laptop computers, authorities said today when announcing theft charges.
Bail was set at $250,000 today when Johnson, 44, of Gary, Ind., appeared before Judge Adam Bourgeois for a bond hearing on felony theft charges, according to a release from the Cook County State's Attorney's office.
After complaints of laptops going missing from Southwest Airline flights, authorities were able to identify Johnson as a suspect and found his work station was in view of a security area where baggage with computers inside was screened, prosecutors said,
He could see what types of computers were in specific bags and would later steal them, according to the state's attorney's office.
A search of Johnson's home found numerous Apple and other laptop computers, along with records showing he had pawned many other computers, prosecutors said.
Johnson's next court date was set for Wednesday. Upon conviction, he could face up to 5 years in prison.