An airline employee appeared in a Redwood City court Friday after he was accused of stealing luggage from travelers whose flight was diverted after the deadly Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport earlier this month.
Sean Crudup, 44, a United Airlines customer service representative at the airport, pleaded not guilty to grand theft and second-degree burglary charges Friday, according to the San Mateo County district attorney’s office.
His wife, Raychas Thomas, 32, is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 26.
Crudup and Thomas were arrested after victims who were supposed to fly into SFO on July 8 were diverted because of the plane crash on July 6, according to prosecutors.
The runway where the crash occurred was closed for nearly a week after the incident, which left three dead and injured 180 passengers and crewmembers. During the shutdown there were hundreds of canceled flights and lengthy delays in and out of the airport.
The victims’ luggage had not been diverted and arrived at SFO.
When the victims went to pick up their bags they found they were missing, according to prosecutors.
Surveillance footage allegedly showed Crudup taking the bags and giving them to his wife and another woman.
Allegedly Thomas took clothing from the bags to a Nordstrom store in Pleasanton and got $5,000 for the items.
Thomas and Crudup were both arrested July 25 at SFO when Thomas was catching a flight to Hawaii.
In a search of Crudup’s and Thomas’ Richmond home, more stolen items from the victims’ bags were allegedly found, prosecutors said.
Crudup is set to be return to court on Thursday.
He is out of custody on $75,000 bail, while Thomas posted $50,000 bail.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News