Friday, February 03, 2012

Police catch thieves: Rogue Valley International - Medford Airport (KMFR), Medford, Oregon.

Jenica Villamor/

MEDFORD, Ore.— Kent Romney thought his computer was gone after thieves took it from the airport last week, but Medford Police were able to find the computer and arrest one suspect.

Last week two thieves stole a computer off the carousel at the Rogue Valley airport. Thursday Medford Police found the suspects waking downtown and arrested Kevin Mier on theft charges. His accomplice, Teresa Gerlach was cited and released.

"I’m elated and presently surprised -- hats off to Medford airport personnel and Medford Police,” victim Kent Romney said.

Romney got his computer back, but says the crime should not have happened.

"Usually they make sure the luggage is with the passenger. In this instance that didn't occur,” he said.

Romney had to switch flights on the way to Medford. He took a later flight from San Francisco and his bags went straight to the airport.

Romney says his bag went around several times before the thieves took it. He says it could have been avoided if he was not separated from luggage.

"If the bags were with me on the flight I would have had the opportunity to get my luggage,” he said.

Airport Director Bern Case says the airlines are responsible for bags, but employees do what they can to keep luggage safe.

"We don't have anyone here checking bags, but we have a lot of cameras. If something happens they are caught and prosecuted,” he said.

Some passengers are hoping the airport increases security.

"I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to have security come by until people pick up the baggage. If the person is not right there to pick it up, anyone can grab it,” passenger Larry Babock said.

However, Bern says the airport cannot afford more employees.

“To have someone there to watch bags would cost at least $100,000 a year,” he said.

Airport officials say they have not had something stolen off the carousel in years, but they recommend carrying your valuables with you.

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