Nearly 20 cars broken into since Labor Day at North Carolina airport, flight crews say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Employees parking in Flight Crew lots 1 and 2 agreed to speak with Queen City News on the condition of anonymity.

They fear crime in the lots will worsen, and more security is needed.

“I just want to make everyone’s travel experience better,” said one woman about her job. “I had no idea that something as dangerous was just right around the corner.”

Labor Day weekend. One of the busier times at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and it was a weekend, a lot of cars in the Flight Crew parking lots were broken into.

“I was mad, I was scared,” said one flight attendant after her car was vandalized. “Because there are a lot of times as a flight attendant, we are here all hours of the day and night.”

Queen City News received plenty of pictures from the flight crew. CMPD records show there have been only three reports of break-ins from Flight crew lot one on Old Dowd Road between Sept. 1 and Sept. 15 of this year, but flight attendants say the number is near 20 between lots 1 and 2.

“Purses, I know someone who had their laptop stolen from their vehicle,” said the flight attendant who witnessed the aftermath when returning with some co-workers.

In a statement, a Charlotte Douglas spokesperson wrote: 

“The Airport is aware of the incidents that have taken place since Labor Day and has implemented several security measures as a means of deterring and detecting illicit activity. 

As per our policy, we cannot discuss the details of airport security but can confirm that we are continuing to implement mitigations in conjunction with our CMPD partners.”

Workers say something more needs to be done.

“Anybody on foot can just walk right in,” added one employee. “It’s really scary, and we’ve seen strangers walking in the parking lot who have no relation to the company or to the airport.”

“It’s scary because I start a trip today, and I don’t know what I’m coming back to,” a flight attendant explained before getting on the shuttle bus heading to work. “I don’t know if my car is going to be broken into again. I don’t know. It’s scary, but I don’t have an option unless I want to pay to park.”

Queen City News did receive a statement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, and a spokesperson wrote over the Labor Day holiday (Aug. 31 – Sept. 3), there were 16 vehicles damaged and/or vandalized at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The incidents occurred in the public and employee parking lots. 

Here is a quick recap of the Labor Day weekend incidents at CLT:

  • A total of 16 vehicles were vandalized over the 8/31 – 9/3 period
    • Ten vehicles were vandalized within the employee lots
      • Vehicle windows broken with some articles removed
    • Six vehicles were vandalized within the passenger lots
      • Vehicle hoods removed from Jeep Rubicon models

The review of this isolated incident resulted in several immediate actions, including increasing the frequency of patrols in the lots, reviewing options for parking lot attendant/assigned security patrol, and placing an airport-owned mobile camera within the employee parking lot campus to be continuously active monitoring of the feed by airport personnel.

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