Monday, December 31, 2012

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA), Washington: Former employee faces felony theft charges

A former worker at Sea-Tac International Airport accused of stealing a pistol from a passenger’s luggage and attempting to sell it has been charged with felony theft.

King County prosecutors contend ex-Menzies Aviation employee 21-year-old Uriel Ochoa-Valenzuela, lifted the pistol out of a bag belonging to an Alaska Airlines passenger headed to Hawaii. Prosecutors contend Ochoa was found out after he tried to sell it to a coworker for $200.

According to charging documents, Ochoa stole the pistol on Nov. 15 while working at Sea-Tac. His manager at Menzies Aviation contacted Port of Seattle Police, which launched an investigation.

Writing the court, a Port of Seattle detective said Ochoa sent his coworker photos of the gun as well as text messages regarding theft. Ochoa, the detective continued, also mentioned stealing a laptop computer and Samsung tablet.

Investigators arranged for Ochoa’s coworker to buy the stolen pistol to prove it has been stolen. The detective contended Ochoa sold the gun, which had been reported stolen by a Medford, Ore., man, and discussed other thefts.

“Ochoa told him about other items of luggage that he had gone through (that day) while at work,” the detective said in charging documents.

Ochoa was arrested Nov. 21 and subsequently admitted that he began stealing items from luggage at the airport in mid-August, the detective continued. Several stolen items were recovered from Ochoa’s car following his arrest.

Ochoa has been charged with first-degree theft of a firearm. He has not yet entered a plea.

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