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updated: 8/10/2012 6:03 PM

Southwest baggage handler charged with laptop thefts

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In criticizing competitors who charge passengers for checking luggage, Southwest Airlines has touted being bag friendly in numerous commercials.

But Cook County prosecutors said that some bags were in unfriendly hands at Midway International Airport and Friday announced the arrest of a baggage handler in connection with stolen laptops.

Salvador Johnson, 44, of Gary, is charged with felony theft.

An investigation began after police received complaints about numerous thefts of Apple computers and other laptops belonging to Southwest passengers.

Johnson's workstation was near a security screening area where he could see the contents of bags displayed. Authorities said he targeted specific computers, stole and pawned them.

Investigators searched Johnson's house and found laptops and pawnshop receipts.

Bond was set at $250,000 Friday. The next court date is Aug. 15.

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