How to Keep Your Luggage Safe From Thieves This Holiday Travel Season

With the holiday travel season in full swing, here are ways to keep your stuff safe.

As millions of Americans are checking luggage before jetting off for the holidays, police are warning to beware of baggage bandits when you land.

A passenger who landed in Cleveland, Ohio, recently reported that her suitcase was missing. Police took swift action, finding the man they say stole the baggage hiding in an airport bathroom stall. He was arrested and charged with theft.

Airport authorities say it isn't his first time swiping luggage. Police said the man brazenly took two bags and then casually wheeled them away as if they were his. Inside one of the bags was the ashes of Lynn Mooren’s mother.

Mooren said the ashes have never been recovered and told Inside Edition that her family is in “disbelief” and “shock” over the theft.

Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Harold Pretel says thieves are more likely to strike over the holidays because they know a lot of those suitcases are packed with gifts.

“This is exactly what were talking about," he told Inside Edition. "The carousel has stopped, the bags are still here, no one's come by to claim them, so that's a crime of opportunity waiting to happen."

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the busiest in the country, one man walked off with more than 50 suitcases in a six month period, according to police reports. He has pleaded not guilty.

Inside Edition’s Investigative team tried a baggage test of their own. With the permission of passengers, we showed how quickly a producer posing as a thief was able to grab their bags from the carousel and walk away.

“I can't believe they just let you walk out of there with it,” one person said.

At New York City’s LaGuardia Airport in Queens, Inside Edition watched as airline employees stopped passengers to verify their bag tag matched their baggage claim receipts. That's a good defense against baggage bandits, experts say.

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