Inasmuch as we began with a letter from a District Liner who is now abroad, perhaps you'd also like to hear from Evelyn G. Meyer of Falls Church, who recently returned from Spain.
When the Meyers arrived in Spain, Evelyn discovered that a small box containing jewelry was missing from a zippered bag she had checked through at Kennedy International Airport. The bag had been locked with a padlock, but the padlock had been broken.
"Later," she informed me, "my brother-in-law returned from Spain, and his luggage also went through Kennedy Airport. In one of his bags, he had placed two small leather cases that contained foreign bills. They were missing. Apparently someone at Kennedy is having a great time with zipper bags, opening them quickly and removing articles of value."
Someone at Kennedy? News accounts have long indicated that thievery is rampant at many cargo transfer points, including airports, particularly in the New York area.
There is evidence that organized crime is involved in some of this activity, but the mob by no means monopolizes it. There are plenty of independent operators.
So there is obvious risk in putting valuables into baggage that will be checked through. It is more prudent to keep your valuables on your person or in carry-on luggage that will remain in your custody.
If I had an opportunity to travel, which I do not, and if I owned jewelry, which I do not, I think I'd park my jewelry in a safe deposit box while I was away. Of course, when I got back I might find that somebody had published a map showing the locations of all the safe deposit boxes in town, but one can't protect himself against every risk, I suppose.