Originally posted on the New York Post – Woman stole nearly 1,500 mini liquor bottles from planes: cops
American Airlines plane at Terminal 8 at JFK. Photo: Tim Wiencis/New York Post
An airplane cleaner cleaned out flights of more than 1,400 miniature bottles of booze during her shifts at JFK Airport, authorities said Friday.
Juanette Cullum, 48, of Brooklyn, allegedly looted the liquor — worth $10,000 — over three years from American Airlines planes parked in Terminal 8.
Cops got a tip from an airport security guard and discovered the 1,429 tiny bottles in a closet at Cullum’s home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a criminal complaint said.
“I took them from work,” Cullum, a contractor with Air Serv airline-service company, allegedly told cops. “I’ve been stealing for the past three years.”
She wasn’t selling the bottles but appeared to be hoarding them, a law-enforcement source said.
Sources said Cullum had also allegedly stolen from passengers, taking seven iPads, two laptops, 19 Kindle tablets and miscellaneous toiletries — all worth at least $5,000.
She was arraigned on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property Friday in Queens Criminal Court and was released on her own recognizance.
She faces up to seven years’ prison if convicted.
At her Hull Street home, Cullum deferred questions to her attorney, Peter Laumann, who didn’t return messages.
“I don’t want to talk about this. I am doing fine, thank you,” she said.
Air Serv declined to comment.
It’s not the first time American Airlines’ liquor has been stolen.
In 2012, 18 workers at JFK were busted for stealing $750,000 worth of mini bottles from planes. The ring comprised three airport security guards and 15 employees of LSG Sky Chefs, which provides catering services to American Airlines. The thieves sold the spirits to grocers in Queens for $1 and $2 each.
Some 60,000 bottles were found at the Queens home of ringleader Domingo Duran, who pleaded guilty to related charges in 2013 and served a six-month prison sentence.
And in 2003, more than 400,000 miniature bottles were pilfered from American Airlines flights. The booze boosters targeted such brands as Dewar’s, Courvoisier and Bacardi and sold it by the case for $240 each, authorities had said.
The 50-milliliter bottles typically run about $7 each on flights.
- Key image from Flickr – All rights reserved by TAKESHI Collection