HPD Investigation Bags Luggage Theft Suspects

August 10, 2007 - Investigators from the Houston Police Department Airport Division, in collaboration with the Harris County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigations Unit and officials from the Houston Airport System, announced the successful conclusion of a lengthy investigation into more than 100 baggage thefts within Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Tireless efforts by all agencies involved such as sorting through evidence, identifying victims, and conducting interviews culminated in the arrests and convictions of seven suspects, all of whom this week, received sentences of four to seven years in prison for their crimes.

On December 26, 2006, the HPD Airport Criminal Investigations Unit began an investigation into the discovery of 68 pieces of luggage abandoned in a commercial dumpster in northeast Houston. Further investigation produced a total of 171 pieces of luggage, most of which were found to be international transit bags, and also developed several suspects, who were employees of Menzies Aviation.

In August 2007, seven Menzies Aviation employees were subsequently identified and charged as suspects in this case. Ricardo Aguilar (H/m, DOB: 11-19-83), Manuel Aguilar (H/m, DOB: 11-19-83), Erick Perez (H/m, DOB: 7-22-78), Carlos Osorio (H/m, DOB: 8-15-82), Daniel Venegas (H/m, DOB: 1-5-81), Javier Hernandez (H/m, DOB: 5-15-83), and Julius Jones (b/m, DOB 6-3-80), were found guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity and aggregate theft.

"This investigation was a collective effort between the Houston Police Department Airport Criminal Investigations Unit, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Air Cargo Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Harris County District Attorney's office, and Continental Airlines,” stated HPD officer Terry Jean Robertson, of the Federal Air Cargo Task Force. “Incidents of this type will not be tolerated at Houston Airports and the suspects were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

“The message we want to get out is, if you’re going to be stealing at the airport, we’re going to catch you and you’re going to prison,” said Assistant Harris County District Attorney Brian Roberts.

VHS/NJM/JFC 8-10-07

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.