PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A baggage handler at Portland International Airport is accused of stealing guns out of checked luggage.

Police arrested the suspect, Deshawn Kelly, on Tuesday. They said he is a convicted felon and is not even allowed to have a gun.

Investigators allege Kelly stole six guns over a two-month period from travelers departing from PDX.

According to Port of Police, the 26-year-old suspect did not work for the airport or TSA rather the contract company Professional Business Providers Services.

Court documents show the first report of a stolen gun dates back to Aug. 19 of this year when a Glock was stolen from the checked bag of a passenger flying to Phoenix. Several more reports followed.

A different victim told FOX 12 he’d put a lock on his luggage before he checked it in on his way to North Carolina.

He said his entire bag went missing and although American Airlines was able to find it days later, when they did, the tags had been switched and the handgun inside was gone.

Once police began to suspect Kelly was stealing the weapons, detectives used two bait bags to prove it.

According to court documents, during one of those operations surveillance video showed Kelly handling one of those bait bags, removing it from the view of surveillance cameras, and later returning it. But detectives said it appeared the lock had been damaged.

The next day two more bags were allegedly stolen. On Sept. 25, police obtained a search warrant for Kelly’s home where they recovered all but one of the guns reported stolen. Records show the suspect confessed to the crimes that same day.

He was then arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail. Kelly is facing 13 charges including six counts of first-degree theft and six counts of felon in possession of a firearm.

Records show Kelly was granted pretrial release. His next court appearance will be on Oct. 10.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(1) comment


Remember the important rules of shipping a firearm in checked luggage - must be in a locked(not a TSA lock) hard case inside the luggage, unloaded, and you have to declare the firearm when checking in - TSA web site says there is a tag that goes on the firearm case, but per federal law the airlines are NOT allowed to place any label on the outside of the luggage indicating that there is a firearm inside(18 USC 922). Check-in procedures vary between airlines(and how well the employees know those procedures), and there is the possibility that the TSA may want to inspect it as well (meaning you have to go down and unlock it so they can look). Many stories about these experiences if you search through the various gun forums.

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