Vacation ends badly for one Olympia family at Sea-Tac

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DisneylandfamilySEATTLE — It was a trip of a lifetime for the Paquette family of Olympia — Disneyland with 2-year-old Presley and 6-year-old Riley.

“It was amazing. It was so fun. We surprised Riley for her birthday,” mom Brittany Paquette said Thursday.

The trip was perfect until they got back to Sea-Tac International Airport.

That’s when they became victims of baggage thieves.

“We were loading our bags onto the shuttle and didn’t even notice one was missing,” Brittany said.

“The last time I saw it was when she had the stroller, she was pushing the stroller and she was towing the bag behind her,” her husband, Nick Paquette, said.

Distracted by the kids and the rest of their bags, they turned away for only a moment.

“Somebody came by and grabbed it,” Nick said.

“We had our camera in there, which had all of our pictures, our video camera … and our video from Disneyland and I still get upset thinking about it. It’s all gone. We’ll never see it again,” Brittany said.

Every year some 25 million bags pass through Sea-Tac, and officials say on average only about 120 of them are stolen.

Port of Seattle police actively and aggressively pursue baggage thieves.

Twenty-five people were arrested in the last three years, and recently investigators identified a half-dozen others as suspects but they have not yet been arrested. Still, the hunt for thieves continues.

“We have uniformed officers. We do high-visibility type patrols. We also have undercover patrols out, video monitors throughout the bag claim area and throughout the airport. We work with the airlines to keep an eye on suspicious activity,” Sea-Tac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper said.

So hopefully other families can be spared the heartbreak the Paquettes now feel.

“I can’t believe people are so heartless. The things in there are not worth anything to anybody but our family. It’s an old camera and a bunch of souvenirs for our family; nobody is going to benefit from that but us,” Brittany Paquette said.

Airport officials say the best advice is when you deplane, go straight to baggage claim so you are there when your bag hits the carousel. Don’t give thieves a chance to get them before you do and no matter where you are inside the airport or curbside, always keep an eye, if not a hand on, your bags. And, if they are stolen, report it to your airline and to airport police.

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  • The World is Ending.

    I don't usually agree with Sahara law, but cutting the hands off theifs had it's benefits, maybe we should tell the bleeding hearts to go to hell and try actually punishing guys like this, oh and if they are convicted crooks then they get their hands cut off they can't claim government disability benefits.

  • Thea Morton

    I have flown a multiple times in and out of Sea Tac. I left my camera (very NICE camera) at the security check point. I realized I didn't't have it, asked my dad to go to that check point and get it for me and he could send it to me (I was flying out). He went to the same check point, it had only been about five minutes, he was told the camera was not there…it was left with a security person…what happened to it? I contacted the airport, they said they didn't have it, didn't now what happened to it. They contacted me about a month or so later (after I had done some investigating, and asking questions) and told me they found my camera. After I had to send them money to send me the camera, they sent me a beat up camera, that didn't work and wasn't mine…wouldn't my camera have my pictures on it? I don't EVER leave anything to chance at Sea Tac anymore!

    • Ted

      I’m afraid the biggest thieves probably work there. I’v flown a lot and have had a number of things lost or stolen and the thing returned to me was by another passenger, some guy named ‘skid row’ Joe returned my $600 watch. But I have never even found my lost bags.(which they lost on three separate occasions.