San Diego

San Diego frequent flyer reports $30,000+ worth of personal items stolen from luggage

Sunday Oyeniya, who has flown more than 30 times this year alone, said it only took one flight for him to learn a lesson he’d never forget

NBC Universal, Inc.

Sunday Oyeniya flies out of San Diego twice a week for work as an aerospace engineer.

Earlier this year, he started noticing little things going missing from his bag like clothing with tags or sneaker protectors.

“Just to be transparent, I was just like, ‘Oh, it’s little stuff,’” he said. “I thought I was losing stuff.”

This most recent incident showed him he wasn’t losing anything.

When he checked his luggage, he noticed more than $30,000 worth of his things were gone, including his engineering equipment, family heirlooms and the Cartier wedding band he only uses for special occasions.

“I was devastated,” he said. “I was shocked. You know, I'm not a super emotional person, but I felt like I wanted to cry.”

Oyeniya reported the incident to Delta Airlines and the police. He said they told him the thief could be anybody. He said it likely happened during an hour-and-a-half flight delay as his luggage sat on the tarmac.

“They went through my bag, and they had an hour and a half to go through my bag to the point that I also had a sunglasses case and I had multiple designer glasses frames in there,” Oyeniya said. “They had so much time that they actually put on each one of each glasses and the only glasses they left in my case with the ones that had prescriptions in them.”

Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) CEO Dr. Joe Leader said there are smart ways to get ahead of this that most people don’t consider.

“For only a few dollars a year, you can secure a piece of jewelry specifically called out on your homeowners and renters’ insurance and then have that covered in full if anything happens to it at any point in the year,” he said.

If it’s valuable and you can bring it with you on the plane, do that.

For the things you can’t bring with you, consider putting a tracking device in your bag so that if and when it does go missing, you have a better chance of finding it.

The Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department is investigating. They sent the following statement to NBC 7:

“The Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department takes every report of theft seriously and conducts a thorough investigation for each incident. To prevent theft from luggage, we encourage travelers to keep their valuables (cash, jewelry, electronics, etc.) in their carry-on luggage or in their personal item. If you must place valuables in your checked luggage, use TSA-approved locks to secure your luggage.”

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