Arizona couple arrested for stealing scores of luggage

Wed Nov 4, 2009 4:00pm EST
 
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Police have solved the mystery of where about 1,000 pieces of luggage from Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport disappeared to -- the home of local couple Keith and Stacy King.

Authorities initially detained Keith King three weeks ago after he was spotted entering the airport from outside and taking a piece of luggage police learned was not his from a baggage carousel to the parking lot.

However, his initial arrest apparently did not put an end to his alleged activities as King was found again on Monday at the airport taking another suitcase. Police followed him to his home on the outskirts of Phoenix, obtained a search warrant, and discovered the huge luggage stash.

"We believe that the suspects ... went through the bags pretty much as soon as they got them and took out what they thought was of value and could use," Phoenix police spokesman Detective James Holmes told Reuters.

"It's a God awful lot of luggage, you can't even imagine," he said. Holmes said that interviews with neighbors revealed that the couple had yard sales most weekends to sell a variety of the stolen goods, including the suitcases themselves.

While it was unclear what was the role of King's wife in the scheme, the two are likely facing a multitude of charges including theft and burglary, he said.

Authorities are now trying to identify "massive amounts of stolen items" in an attempt to reunite them with their owners.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Philip Barbara)