Police arrest man for allegedly stealing from luggage at Sky Harbor Airport

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Michael Hegstad By Catherine Holland Michael Hegstad By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Police have arrested a man who they say stole items from luggage at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Late last Thursday morning, officers assigned to the airport saw Michael Hegstad, 23, remove two boxes from a conveyor belt.

The officers approached Hegstad to discover he had empty the boxes of their contents. They immediately took him into custody.

According to police, Hegstad, admitted to several other thefts when investigators interviewed him. Sgt. Steve Martos said Hegstad told officers he took thing items from bags as they moved through the conveyor systems after passengers checked them in.

"The suspect was fairly cooperative with officers and detectives," Martos said.

Detectives were able to recover a large quantity of stolen property from Hegstad home and a storage unit. When totaled up, it's estimated that the stolen property is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Investigators are still trying to determine how long the thefts have been going on. They are also trying to locate the rightful owners of all of the stolen property.

According to police Hegstad when for big-ticket items like electronic equipment.

Martos said police plan to set up a hotline for potential victims next week.

Hegstad does not work for Sky Harbor directly. Rather, he is a contract employee for Elite Line Services and had to undergo a background check before he was hired.

At this point, Hegstad faces one count of burglary and one of trafficking stolen goods.

In a similar but unrelated case, a Waddell man accused of stealing luggage from Sky Harbor International Airport pleaded guilty Thursday morning.

Keith King and Stacy Legg King were arrested in November after authorities found hundreds of bags in their Waddell home.