Stealing airport luggage is a federal crime

Baggage claim at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is designed to be a self-contained section enclosed by a four-foot railing.

So, if someone takes an unusual route attempting to leave the space, officers may see that.

That is exactly how they caught one thief trying to make off with two brightly-colored duffel bags just before Christmas. Authorities say the busy holiday traffic is an enticement for this kind of activity.

Airport police say Chase Pittman jumped over a baggage barrier like it was a hurdle on a track. He was racing toward a MARTA train when officers caught up with him and took him down.

It is unlikely a suspect would know this, but taking bags from an airport carousel is more than just petty theft. It is a federal crime.