Thursday, July 21, 2011
Laura Ingraham says $11,000 in jewelry was stolen from her checked baggage
Maybe it's all a vast left-wing conspiracy.
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham says she had $11,000 in jewelry stolen from her checked baggage by a sticky-fingered thief at Newark Airport, including a baptismal cross that was blessed by the pope.
And she's not happy about it -- at all!
"We know we have criminals working behind the scenes with people's luggage. We spend billions and billions on security, and you would think that they would be able to see who is handling our luggage," she fumed to The Post.
"These are only 'things,' but if people can take stuff out of our luggage, well, why can't they be putting other stuff into our luggage?" she wondered.
The theft occurred Friday evening before her Continental Airlines flight to Denver, she said.
Soon after arriving at her hotel, she realized that clothes inside her suitcase were in disarray and a jewelry case had been rifled through.
"The case was open. They must have been in a big rush and took most of the jewelry, but not everything -- they left some stuff behind," she noted.
The thief took seven items worth $11,250, according to an inventory list she gave cops.
The most significant loss, she said, was her $2,000 22-carat, gold baptismal cross that she purchased at the Vatican -- an item she's worn almost daily for the past nine years, since she became a Catholic, which had "great sentimental value."
Other items included a Judith Ripka-designed yellow gold necklace valued at $950 and a triple-strand, yellow-gold necklace by Italian designer Marco Bicego valued at $1,800.
All the jewelry, except the cross, were loaned to her by a neighbor to use on her book tour to promote her latest best-seller, "Of Thee I Zing."
Although she praised Port Authority cops for helping her, she said it was galling that Continental Airlines and the Transportation Security Administration gave her the runaround when she tried to report the theft.
She said a Continental customer-service employee in Newark had the nerve to tell her that she shouldn't have put jewelry in her bag in the first place.
"Blaming the victim is also a really lovely way to deal with the flying public," she said.
An airline spokesman denied they would ever deliberately fault a flier for lost items.
"It is not our intention to blame the victim, first and foremost," spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said.
He said they are working hard to recover her valuables.
"Our folks from Newark are talking with all the employees who were working to learn what we can," he said.
Ingraham also said the TSA was not particularly helpful during the imbroglio.
In a statement, the TSA said they "takes seriously all allegations of missing items."