Janitor Charged in Theft of Pilot's Gun at Philly International Airport

The armed pilot is part of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program

A janitor was arrested and charged in the theft of a pilot's gun in a bathroom at Philadelphia International Airport Saturday.

Police say an armed Federal Flight Officer went into the men's restroom inside the airport's sterile area next to the Terminal B Security Checkpoint around 8:30 a.m. When he left the bathroom he forgot a black nylon "shaving kit" sized bag that contained his Air Marshall issued H&K .40 caliber handgun, according to investigators.

The pilot went back to the bathroom but couldn't find his bag or gun. He then notified police and the Air Marshalls.

A Philadelphia Police officer said he searched through the restroom and later learned a janitor had been in the bathroom when the bag was taken. The officer then searched through the custodial closet inside the restroom entrance where he found the Flight Officer's gun, police said.

Airport surveillance video showed the janitor entering the restroom while the Flight Officer was inside, according to investigators. Officials said the janitor was the only airport employee seen on video who entered the restroom while the Flight Officer's bag was unattended. They also said the janitor was the only airport employee with a key to the custodial closet who was in the area at the time.

The janitor, who police identified as 31-year-old Victor Sheard, was arrested and charged with theft-unlawful taking, theft-receiving stolen property, violation of the uniform firearms act and other related offenses.

Philadelphia Police
Victor Sheard

A few flights were temporarily delayed when the gun went missing. Normal operations at the airport were later resumed.

The armed pilot is part of the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program. The program allows commercial pilots to volunteer to carry weapons to protect their aircraft from attacks. Officials have not yet revealed whether the pilot will face any disciplinary actions from the TSA for the incident.

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