D/FW AIRPORT - On the eve of one of the busiest travel days of the year, D/FW International Airport is a little safer after police arrested two airport workers and a traveler for stealing items from passengers.
"It is a very good day for the DPS police department when we're able to take these people off the streets and out of the terminal area," said Lt. Lonnie Freeman, D/FW Department of Public Safety.
Frederica Williams, 36, was a contractor who worked in baggage claim until a tipster turned her in recently. Police said items she found in the terminal, like a $600 iPad, were never turned in to lost and found.
A tipster also reported Haji Mberwa, 34, to police.
Mberwa used to clean the terminals as a contractor, until he was fired after his arrest. Investigators said he stole a Blackberry and Samsung Galaxy tablet computer that passengers mistakenly left at charging stations in Terminal C.
"Haji would actually sell the items at a pawn shop," Lt. Freeman said detectives discovered.
Williams did the same thing, he added.
Sunday, airport police arrested Udorn Bo Phichitchaleunsak, 31, in the act of a theft during his a layover at D/FW.
"He literally walked up to the victims and tried to remove property while they were watching," Lt. Freeman said. "Unfortunately for him, one of our officers [was] watching and actually saw him do that, and took him into custody."
Thefts are one of the most common crimes at airports, because of the transient population.
Three arrests in ten days however is rare.
But Freeman said these arrests could solve other cases. Detectives are investigating whether Williams and Mberwa are responsible for other thefts.
D/FW Airport Police ask travelers to report anything suspicious they see by texting officers from anywhere by entering "847411" in their mobile phones and beginning texts with "DFWDPS."