Official accused of luggage thefts no longer an employee, Energy Department says

Official accused of luggage thefts no longer an employee, Energy Department says

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Sam Brinton, the Department of Energy (DOE) official accused of stealing luggage at Harry Reid International Airport, is no longer employed by the agency, according to a statement released on Monday.

“Sam Brinton is no longer a DOE employee. By law, the Department of Energy cannot comment further on personnel matters,” according to a DOE spokesperson.

Head of Advocacy The Trevor Project Sam Brinton attends The Trevor Project TrevorLIVE NYC at Cipriani Wall Street on June 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for The Trevor Project)

The 8 News Now Investigators first reported on Dec. 8 that Brinton, a Deputy Assistant Secretary for DOE’s Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition, was the subject of a felony warrant on a grand larceny charge.

An arrest warrant obtained by 8 News Now indicates Brinton, 35, was caught on camera during the Las Vegas incident, which reportedly occurred in July. He was identified as a suspect in November following a report that he was accused in a similar incident in Minneapolis.

A social media post helped police tie Brinton to the surveillance images. He was wearing a white T-shirt with a large rainbow atomic nuclear symbol design on the front, which matched the suspect in surveillance video at Reid International Airport.

A surveillance image of Sam Brinton inside Harry Reid International Airport on July 9, 2022, as provided in the warrant for his arrest. (KLAS)

A woman who had traveled from Dulles International Airport to Reid airport on July 6 said she could not locate a piece of her luggage that she had checked with United Airlines. She filed a police report four days later. The luggage was described as gray with a hard shell, and an “Away” brand “Bigger Carry-On” model valued at $320, documents said.

The woman told police her stolen property had a total value of more than $3,670, and included jewelry, makeup, contact lenses and clothing, documents said.

“Brinton pulled the victim’s luggage from the carousel and examined the tag. Then placed it back on the carousel, looking in all directions for anyone who might be watching, or might approach. Pulling it back off the carousel and demonstrating the same behavior by looking around before walking away with it quickly,” the warrant said.

Brinton was on leave when he was accused of the Las Vegas incident, according to a DOE spokesperson.

Brinton is non-binary and uses the pronoun “they.”

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