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November 19, 2012 06:04 PM

Salem Woman's Luggage Stolen From GA Airport

Every time you fly somewhere, you're always asked to show your identification when you check your luggage.  But very few airports ask to see an ID when you pick it up at baggage claim. And one KELOLAND woman thinks that's an open invitation for thieves.

Val and Bob Westhoff were expecting a trip of a lifetime to St. Martins in the Caribbean to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. What they weren't expecting was to find out Val's luggage was stolen.

"I could tell everything had been opened, unzipped and opened," Val said.

Val's luggage was taken right off the carousel in Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.   It was found a day later in an open field a couple of miles from the airport, along with a few other pieces of luggage.

Val got her bag back a few days later, but the thieves also stole something else from her: her sense of security.   She says most airlines and airport security don't keep close tabs on whose picking up what item in baggage claim. 

"Where is every carousel? It's right by a door. Because you get your luggage and you get out of there, it's a concern," Val said.

She says if it happened to her, it could happen to you at almost any airport. The Department of Transportation reports nearly two million pieces of luggage were either lost or stolen in the U.S. last year.   Most travelers eventually get their bags back, but Val doesn't think she would have if someone wouldn't have found it and reported it.

"After having my bag stolen, I never would have thought of this ever before, but I will be different how I take things to the airport anymore," Val said.

Tonight on KELOLAND News at 10 on Eye on KELOLAND, we take a hidden camera to the Sioux Falls Airport to see who is checking luggage there and what happens to the bags that aren't claimed by someone right away. What we found might surprise you.

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