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May 2001 Vol. 16, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Miami Vice

from the May, 2001 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Whenever you see a Pelican hard case, you know that the contents are valuable. Thats why they have become a favorite target of baggage handling thieves at Miamis International Airport. In the last week of March, we learned of three separate incidents in which Pelican cases were opened as they wove their way through the innards of the Miami baggage handling system .

Kevin Gill, on his way to Houston, saw his Pelican case loaded on the plane, intact, in Providenciales (Turks and Cacios). Yet it was not on the baggage carousel, nor in baggage service, upon his arrival in Miami. When he reached Houston, the case was on the conveyer, without the twin Master Padlocks. Missing were a CD player and speakers and a camcorder.

Larry Lozuks Pelican case went through Miami on the same flight. The lock was cut. Luckily, he had no camera inside, but only a housing, which arrived intact.

On his way to Dallas, Sam Stanleys Pelican case went through Miami on his return from Trinidad. It arrived with the locks cut, his Nikon F4 missing and the housing left behind.

None of our three bags made it to the baggage carousel. All were ultimately delivered, although late. All three were Pelican cases. All three had the locks cut. Cameras were stolen from two. All three passengers were flying American.

When a bag is lost and customs has to open it outside your presence, they are required to leave a notice inside the case saying what they did. None of the three bags had this notice.

If youre traveling with a Pelican, hand-carry it. Or, put it inside another case an old suitcase or duffel, anything that wont attract attention.

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