City attorney to file charges in LAX thefts

From a Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo is expected to announce today the filing of misdemeanor theft charges against 11 people -- including eight screeners at Los Angeles International Airport -- suspected of stealing property from two celebrities and other travelers.

Nick Velasquez, a spokesman for Delgadillo, said the alleged victims include hotel heiress Paris Hilton and singer Keyshia Cole. The stolen items included cartons of cigarettes, expensive watches and jewelry.

Velasquez said the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which is charged with aviation security, and which employs the screeners, played a central role in the investigation.

The cases, he said, are an effort by the city attorney and the TSA to crack down on theft by airport employees. All eight screeners facing theft charges have been dismissed from their jobs, Velasquez said.