MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport arrested a man who was stealing luggage from the baggage claim area.
That alleged thief was a limousine driver who was supposed to be picking up travelers. A spokesperson for the airport says 52-year-old Allen Joseph Cree of Richfield was arrested Wednesday.
Airport police say he was caught on camera multiple times taking luggage that didn’t belong to him from the carousels in baggage claim.
Passengers who regularly fly in and out of airports are familiar with the warnings about leaving bags unattended, but what if someone steals your bag before you even have a chance to claim it?
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Airports Commission tells us police are investigating the actions of Allen Cree, a driver for Star Transportation. He says security cameras, that are in place throughout the baggage claim area, captured images of Cree walking away with bags and backpacks that didn’t belong to him or his passengers.
Investigators are now trying to determine if Cree is responsible for more thefts both on and off airport grounds, and if he made purchases with credit cards that were inside some of the bags.
The owner of Star Transportation, Tina Fliehr, says it’s a well-respected company based in Rochester, with an office in Eagan. She says Allen Cree was just hired last month, but has now been fired. She said his arrest came as a shock, and that Cree had received “rave reviews” in his short time there.
The limo company cooperated with police when they were contacted. They let officers know when Allen Cree was working and when he would be headed out to the airport so they could observe his actions.
The case is still under investigation as police gather more evidence. Cree faces theft charges and possibly more, depending on what was inside the stolen bags and what he did with those items.
He doesn’t have a record — only some minor traffic violations.
His former boss says they did conduct a background check on him, and what they found is that he has a history of working in the church. It appears he’s a former pastor of a small church in Richfield.