Sky Harbor Contract Worker Arrested in Massive Theft of Luggage

The same day that a Phoenix man pleaded guilty to stealing luggage at Sky Harbor, (his wife and accomplice has already been convicted), another case of looted baggage turned up.

The new case appears far worse than that of Keith and Stacy King, prolific pilferers themselves.

This time, it involves a guy who worked for a baggage handling company.

Michael Hegstad, 23, an employee of Elite Line Services, was spotted taking a couple of boxes from a conveyor belt on August 26 by two airport cops. They arrested him immediately after seeing he had taken items out of the boxes.

Here's what cops said in yesterday's announcement:

During the course of the interview, the suspect admitted to numerous other thefts. The suspect admitted to removing personal belonging from baggage as it moved through the conveyer system after passenger check-in. Officers and Detectives investigating this case have been able to retrieve a large quantity of stolen personal items. The stolen property has an estimated value in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hegstad was booked into jail on theft charges.

Cops say they're setting up a hotline so potential victims can call in information about the thefts. We'll post that number here once it's released.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.