The Queens County District Attorney’s Office announced yesterday that a baggage handler at JFK Airport was arrested on theft charges after he took $20,000 from a computer bag a traveler mistakenly left on a luggage cart last month.
In its announcement of the alleged theft, the Queens District Attorney’s Office fails to address what we consider to be one of the more obvious questions: what the fuck was a guy doing walking around JFK Airport with $20,000 in cash?
The office’s spokeswoman, Helen Peterson, offered up a “no comment” when the Voice asked her that very question — which only adds to the mystery.
For the vast majority of us, $20,000 is a lot of money, and not an
amount the average person would pack for a vacation — unless, of
course, you’re buying drugs, paying ransom, or bribing a New York City Department of Housing official.
Whatever the reason the victim, Anis Rehman, had for carrying such a large amount of cash, the alleged thief, 58-year-old
Rajendranauth Ramsahai, is in some fairly deep shit — he’s currently
charged with one count of third-degree grand larceny and one count of
According to Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown, on May 2,
Rehman left his computer bag on a baggage cart at the Blue Parking Lot,
lane 107, at JFK Airport between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., before getting
into a vehicle and driving away.
A short time later, Ramsahai — who worked as an employee of the
private company that operates the baggage cart service — was seen on
walking up to the cart, searching through the bag, and then taking it.
Ramsahai later admitted that he had found a bag and that he took $600
from it — he claims he spent the money
on gas, fast food, and some other items, before leaving the bag and its contents — sans the $20,000 in cash — against a
at a crosswalk near the airport.
“The defendant in this case is accused of taking advantage of the
forgetfulness of a passenger who had just arrived from an international
flight and mistakenly left his computer case – packed with $20,000 cash
and other valuables – on a baggage cart in a parking lot,” Brown says.
“Airport workers should be helping passengers – not taking advantage of
them. A lost bag is not an invitation to thieves.”
If convicted, Ramsahai faces up to seven years in prison.