airport, baggage, claim

A man who owns a chain of hotels in Mississippi was arrested Thursday at a Tennessee airport for allegedly stealing luggage from the baggage carousel.

According to The Associated Press, Chawla Hotels CEO Dinesh Chawla was taken into custody at Memphis International Airport after returning on a flight from Orlando and charged with two counts of felony theft.

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Memphis police said Chawla was seen on the airport’s CCTV on August 18 taking an item from the airport’s baggage carousel and bringing it to his vehicle outside. He then returned to the facility, boarded his flight and departed for Florida.

While the hotel CEO was away, police towed his SUV and obtained a search warrant. Inside, officers found the item reported missing during the August 18 incident and another bag that went missing on July 16.

Chawla reportedly admitted to the thefts when questioned by police and even said he had committed other robberies. Police say the value of the bags was reported at $2,599 and $1,300, respectively.

Police said Chawla was released on $5,000 bail and is due back in court Friday.

The Chawla Hotels company owns 17 hotels in Mississippi and is working with the Trump Organization on a high-end facility in Cleveland, Mississippi, under a proposed Trump brand.