REDWOOD CITY -- An ex-baggage handler at San Francisco International Airport convicted of stealing from travelers' bags was ordered to pay more than $32,000 in restitution to the victims, a prosecutor said.
George Reyes, 45, of San Francisco, must pay between $120 and $6,000 to 21 victims who lost possessions to the former United Airlines worker caught in a police sting in May, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Karesh ordered a total of $32,366 in restitution.
Reyes began serving a six-month sentence in San Mateo County jail earlier this month as part of a deal with prosecutors that saw him plead no contest to felony embezzlement. Under the terms of the Aug. 1 plea bargain Reyes also must complete three years' probation.
Police arrested him May 21 as he drove home from the airport with iPads and purses that were marked with GPS tracking devices. Investigators began watching Reyes after getting over 50 complaints of items going missing from travelers' bags.
Police later placed the tracking devices on items they knew would pass through Reyes' hands. When police searched his home they allegedly found items from "loads" of victims, Wagstaffe said previously.
Another United Airlines worker pleaded not guilty in July to stealing luggage from a Richmond couple whose flight was diverted after the deadly Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash.
Defendants can only be jailed for not paying restitution if they have enough money and yet don't make payments. Last year, of the restitution ordered in San Mateo County, about 8 percent was paid, Wagstaffe said.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.