A United Airlines employee and his girlfriend pleaded no contest Monday to charges of felony grand theft and possession of stolen property after stealing bags from San Francisco International Airport in the aftermath of the Asiana Airlines crash last July, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Sean Sharif Crudup, 44, and Raychas Elizabeth Thomas, 32, both Richmond residents, were arrested July 25 while they were waiting to catch a flight to Hawaii.
According to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, Crudup, an employee for United Airlines, was seen on surveillance video stealing bags and handing them off to Thomas, his fiancée, and another woman. The bags contained valuable clothing and Thomas returned much of it to Nordstrom's in Pleasanton for about $5,000. A search of their home revealed more stolen property.
In the aftermath of the July 6 Asiana Airlines crash, many planes were diverted from SFO and luggage began piling up, prosecutors said. When the victims in the case went to the airport to pick up there luggage, it was not there.
A spokesman for the sheriff's office said at the time it was a crime of opportunity.
“The unfortunate coincidence is that Asiana was on July 6, and this crime was July 8,” Detective Sgt. Wes Matsuura told ABC news at the time. “A lot of bags were down there.”
Crudup and Thomas face up to a year in county jail and will return to court May 13 for sentencing.
The two are currently out of custody on bail.