Philadelphia baggage handler arrested for $20,000 currency theft

Posted: October 24, 2012

A Kingsessing baggage handler for US Airways was arrested by the FBI Tuesday for the theft of $20,000 in uncirculated hundred dollar bills at Philadelphia International Airport two weeks ago.

Alex Price, 25, of the 5500 block of Malcom Street, confessed to the theft after completing a polygraph exam Tuesday. Price then led FBI agents to his two cars, parked near his house, and the FBI recovered the stolen cash from one of the cars.

In an affidavit supporting a warrant for Price's arrest, FBI special agent John Deven Sermons gave the following account of events:

A shipment of hundred dollar bills - a new design not yet in circulation - containing sixty packages of approximately $3.2 million each was being transported from Dallas to the Federal Reserve in East Rutherford, N.J. Between the landing of US Airways flight 1210 at 10:35 a.m. October 11 at Philadelphia International Airport and the shipment's arrival at East Rutherford, however, one package was opened.

The guards from Dunbar Security who drove the armored vehicle from the airport to North Jersey said no one had taken the packages while under their supervision.

Multiple baggage handlers in Philadelphia were interviewed, including Price, who was interviewed by phone Oct. 11. At that time, Price said he did not see anyone taking any money. Six days later, Price was interviewed again, at which point he said he was the only handler with direct access to the money but had no involvement in the theft.

Price said he was willing to take a polygraph exam to prove his innocence; Tuesday morning, that exam took place.

After the exam, according to Sermons's affidavit, Price confessed to the theft and said the money was hidden in his car.

Price led agents to his two cars, and the $20,000 was recovered in a blue drawstring bag from Price's white Nissan Maxima.

Returning to the FBI's Philadelphia headquarters, Price again confessed to the theft, the affidavit stated, and an FBI audit confirmed the money was recovered in its entirety.

Assistant US Attorney David Ignall is prosecuting the case, and Price is scheduled for an initial Magistrate's Court appearance Wednesday.


Contact Jonathan Lai at 215-854-2771, jlai@philly.com, or on Twitter @elaijuh.

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