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Police: Pilot's Gun Stolen At Philly International Airport; Janitor Charged

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Police have arrested and charged a janitor, Victor Sheard, 31,  in connection with a stolen handgun at Philadelphia International Airport that caused numerous of flight delays.

Sheard has been charged with Theft-Unlawful Taking, Theft-Receiving Stolen Property, Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act and other related charges.

Authorities say the incident began around 9 a.m. Saturday, shortly after a pilot flew in from Buffalo to Philadelphia and went to the men's room in the secure area of Terminal B.

"A Republic Airline pilot had realized that he exited the men's room without the firearm that he carries as part of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program," Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan said. "Immediately, the pilot flagged down the nearest airport police officer and reported that the firearm was missing."

That prompted officials with the Transportation Security Administration to keep flights on the tarmac from departing as they searched for a person of interest.

Police say the weapon was found within two hours locked inside the back of a custodial closet and was still in a secure position inside the pilot's toiletry bag, which was located inside of a black trash bag.

Sullivan says the airport's video security system helped identify the Sheard, who was seen entering the restroom. Authorities say he entered while the pilot was still inside and was the only employee to do so while the bag was unattended.

Police say at no time was anyone at the airport in danger.

The incident caused 16 flights to be delayed for nearly an hour.


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