Plane cleaner accused of swiping booze

Sherriff's deputies say they found various bottles of alcohol when they searched Jesse Repetti.

Story highlights

  • The incident happened at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee
  • AirTran manager says he saw a plane cleaner take wine bottles from an aircraft
  • Complaint: Sherriff's deputies searched the man and found bottles of alcohol, snacks
  • Jesse Repetti has been charged with theft
Hungry air travelers know that all those onboard snacks and spirits reserved for premium-class passengers or available only for a fee look mighty tempting, but airport workers apparently give them a second look as well.
Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to General Mitchell International Airport last week after an AirTran Airways manager complained that he saw a maintenance worker take wine bottles from a plane and put them in his jacket pocket.
The worker was identified as Jesse Repetti, 28, an employee with PrimeFlight Aviation Services who was responsible for cleaning the plane, according to a complaint filed in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
When they arrived, the deputies found Repetti in a jetway, eating a bag of chips, "which belonged to AirTran," the court papers say.
They asked the suspect whether he had wine bottles in his pocket, and he replied "yes," according to the complaint.
When the deputies searched Repetti, they found a small bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, a small bottle of Chardonnay, three small bottles of whiskey, three small bottles of rum, a can of beer, two bags of chips and two bags of pretzels.
Officials estimate that the items were worth about $70.
Repetti has been charged with theft, a misdemeanor punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or nine months in prison.
A pretrial conference in the case has been scheduled for next week.
Court documents do not say whether Repetti has retained an attorney.