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O’Hare Thefts Against Military Personnel Has Some Asking: Why?

Mai Martinez Mai Martinez
Mai Martinez co-anchors CBS 2 Chicago’s weekend evening newscasts and...
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(CBS) – A worker at O’Hare Airport is behind bars, accused of stealing items from active-duty military personnel.

James Matthews of Sauk Village, 41, is charged with two counts of felony theft. As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, police say Matthews was caught in the act, on camera.

The U.S. Post Office at O’Hare handles a lot of international mail and packages for military personnel, but after items started disappearing from military foot lockers being sent overseas, Chicago police and the Postal Inspector set up a sting to catch those responsible.

Wednesday evening around 6:30, Matthews, a Swissport Cargo employee, was caught on camera bringing mail that was received from flights to the Post Office and then taking a military foot locker containing a laptop as well as other items.

He was arrested and charged with the theft. Other Swissport employees were shocked by the news.

“It’s going to military, you know, supporting our troops, why would you want to steal from them? It’s kind of crazy,” Michael Tsopnang says.

At O’Hare, military personnel in transit also found it hard to believe anyone would steal from those who are serving their country.

PFC Johan Maree says many people don’t realize how important items being shipped to those serving overseas can be.

“These laptops and these phones and these electronic devices that allow them to contact their family. They’re taking that from them and then making their time over there even worse,” Maree says.

Swissport Cargo did not respond to a request for comment Friday.