One of three baggage handlers accused of stealing items from luggage at San Francisco International Airport — including a retired police sergeant’s custom-made weapon — was sentenced Friday to 90 days jail after pleading no contest to embezzlement.
John Victoria, 21, receives a day of credit against his sentence which is set to begin July 25. He was also ordered to spend three years on supervised probation.
Victoria is the second of three defendants to settle his case. Tauailapalapa Laulu, 27, pleaded no contest in December to misdemeanor embezzlement in return for 30 days jail and two years of court probation. Andrew Balamiento, 28, is scheduled for jury trial July 27 on four counts of embezzlement.
The trio were arrested last fall after a retired San Francisco police sergeant reported having his custom gun stolen out of his checked baggage. On Sept. 10, Delta Airlines’ security, airport police and the Sheriff’s Office set up a series of controlled bags on flights to New York. One held a video game system and an Apple computer. Another had a gold watch and foreign currency. After the items turned up missing, authorities executed search warrants on the defendants who were employed by Servisair baggage company.
Authorities reported finding the money, game system and watch in Balamiento’s work locker and the gun at Victoria’s home. The laptop computer was reportedly found in Laulu’s home although he was not working at the time of the thefts.
Balamiento remains free from custody on his own recognizance.
Michelle Durand can be reached by e-mail: email@example.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.