A former employee of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport admitted in court Thursday to stealing weapons from travelers’ luggage, according to the Hennepin County attorney’s office.
David Vang, 24, of St. Paul, pleaded guilty to 10 felony counts of firearm theft in connection with the crimes. He was immediately sentenced to two years and two months in prison.
The investigation began in October 2012 when a passenger who flew from Montana to Alaska with a layover at the Twin Cities airport reported that he discovered his compound bow and electronics had been stolen from his checked luggage.
Airport police installed hidden cameras in the areas where they believed the items were stolen. Footage revealed that Vang was removing items and hiding them until the end of his shift, then taking them to the employee parking lot where his wife, Vue Xiong, 22, was waiting to drive him home, charges said.
Police searched their apartment, where they found 716 items in labeled boxes ranging from iPads, cameras and purses to cigars and hunting gear. Four handguns and six long guns also were found. The stolen items were valued at $84,000. Vang allegedly admitted that he started stealing from the luggage in June 2012.
The case against Xiong, who was charged with one felony theft count, remains open.