Cintas truck stolen, garments gone

Mark A. DeSorbo

KANSAS CITY, MS-The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) believes that a delivery truck heisted from cleanroom garment service provider Cintas Corp. and robbed of airport uniforms was not the work of terrorists.

“At this point, we don't think they were targeting the uniforms,” Special Agent Jeff Lanza told CleanRooms. “We think it was the work of thieves and not terrorists, and we don't have any evidence to support that it was terrorists.”

The truck, Lanza says, was stolen on May 4 from the Cintas facility in Kansas City. It was found a day later about a mile away.

“It was a break-in, and we're not sure how. There was no surveillance video. There was nothing left inside the truck. All the uniforms had been taken,” he says, adding that it is unclear how many or what other types of garments were in the truck because “the company has been unable to give us an inventory.”

What the FBI does know, Lanza says, is that ramp workers and baggage handlers for three different airlines at Kansas City International Airport wear some of the uniforms.

While he understands why people would be nervous over the theft, especially in the wake of September 11, a uniform alone is not enough to gain access to restricted areas of an airport.

“You cannot get into restricted area with just a uniform. You're going to need an I.D.,” Lanza adds.

Joe McBride, a spokesman for the airport, told The Associated Press that identification badges are definitely required in order to access restricted areas of the Kansas City International Airport.

“I'm sure the FBI, airport police and the airlines would like to know where these uniforms are because it's just not good to have them out there,” McBride adds.

Officials at Cintas declined to comment.

The FBI believes the uniforms and any other items stolen from the truck will most likely be sold by whoever stole them.

Adds Lanza, “If not for 9/11 it would not have even appeared on anyone's radar.”


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