According to court filings reportedly obtained by Insider and the New York Post, among others, Biden administration official Sam Brinton has been charged with felony theft after being accused of stealing a Vera Bradley suitcase which, together with its contents, was valued at $2,325.
It’s worth stressing that point, Vera Bradley suitcases alone aren’t worth that much. Most retail for prices in the hundreds of dollars, rather than thousands.
The suitcase in question was reportedly a 26-inch navy blue hard-sided roller.
Insider reports that Brinton told a questioning officer they accidentally picked up the wrong bag from an airport luggage belt in Minnesota.
Reports of the theft of a ‘$2,325 Vera Bradley suitcase’ may be misleading
Sam Brinton didn’t allegedly take a Vera Bradley suitcase that was itself worth an estimated $2,325.
Court documents refer to the total value of the suitcase and its contents as $2,325.
The specific suitcase, Insider reports, was a 26-inch navy blue hard-sided roller bag – which itself is only worth around $300.
You can get the same model, or a similar one, in silver from Walmart for $220.50. Or, for about a dollar less, Amazon retails 26-inch Vera Bradley hard-side rolling suitcases (in black) for $219.52. A very specific price. Or you can get it in Hope Blooms or Bloom Bloom Navy for even less.
Are they particularly good quality?
Reports of Brinton allegedly taking a Vera Bradley suitcase and its contents, together worth around $2,325, naturally raise questions regarding the desirability of such travel bags.
In their review, Adored By Alex writes that Vera Bradley’s hard-side spinner luggage range of suitcases are “impressive,” “lightweight” and “pleasantly surprising.”
“It’s somewhat of a miracle when bags come out on the carousel unscathed,” the review continues. “Both of my Vera hard-side suitcases are super durable and still look like new after a handful of uses.”
Meanwhile, Vera Bradley suitcases are among Southern Belle In Training’s “favorite accessories.”
What should you do if you accidentally take someone else’s luggage at the airport?
Claim Compass wrote in July 2021 that in 2018, 4.36 billion travellers had checked in more than 4.27 million bags in all the airports of the world.
It cited a SITA report from 2019. SITA is a provider of IT services to over 400 airlines. Its report added that more than 28 million bags are mishandled every year.
Of those, about five per cent never make their way back to their original owners. That means about 1.4 million luggage items go missing every year.
In the first quarter of 2022 alone, Simple Flying adds, “there were more than 684,000 lost and mishandled bags.” And that was just in the US.
If you realise you’ve taken the wrong luggage off the conveyor belt, you should take the bag back to the airline’s baggage counter as soon as possible, people advise.
What has Sam Brinton said about the allegations regarding the $2,325 Vera Bradley suitcase?
“If I had taken the wrong bag, I am happy to return it, but I don’t have any clothes for another individual. That was my clothes when I opened the bag,” Brinton told a questioning officer, according to Insider’s report, which cites a complaint filed in court last month.
Brinton later said they were tired and picked up the wrong bag by accident. They realised when they got to their hotel and opened the suitcase, Insider reports.
The complaint reportedly says Brinton “got nervous people would think they stole the bag and did not know what to do.”
They told the police they had left the clothes from the bag in their hotel room. But Insider adds that police didn’t recover any clothes from the room in question. The owner of the Vera Bradley has not got it back yet, the outlet adds.