NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A woman visiting Nashville for a professional conference arrived at the airport Thursday night, only to find her luggage had been stolen from the baggage carousel.
Barb Mitchell, who travels often between the United States and Canada for business, says she took a moment to use the restroom after her flight. When she arrived at the baggage claim minutes later, her bag was not there.
"Nowadays, they can track exactly where your bags are, so Delta knew it had arrived in Nashville and that it had gotten onto the carousel," says Mitchell.
Mitchell, who had visited Nashville once before for the same professional conference, says Delta employees searched the airport for her bag and the bags of a few others that were also missing. When nothing turned up, Mitchell pressed the airport about investigating a possible security issue.
"After several days of sort of pushing the airport to say 'clearly there's a security situation happening here' [BNA officials] actually decided to look at the security footage,” says Mitchell. “[The security video showed] a gentleman walked in, he grabbed a trolley. He loaded 5 bags up onto his trolley and went straight out onto the street and loaded them into his vehicle."
Mitchell says airport officials did not review the footage until Monday, four days after the incident.
Metro Nashville Police do not have jurisdiction over what happens inside the airport – which is federally controlled. They do, however, have access to video outside which clearly showed the license plate of the man who loaded the five pieces of luggage.
"The last update I got was on Monday and they had actually gone to the home that was registered to the vehicle,” says Mitchell. “But they hadn't yet tracked anyone."
News4 requested data on stolen bags at BNA. Airport officials say 4.4 million bags arrive there every year. In the last 12 months, they report seven instances of confirmed bag thefts. Airport officials say Mitchell’s luggage was the only reported incident that weekend – even though the footage reportedly shows five bags taken.
"When you come to a city and that's your first impression -- you're robbed of your personal possessions -- it doesn't give you a feeling of safety,” says Mitchell. “If someone can that easily come in off the street and take something, what can they bring in?"