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Man Lived in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for Three Months Using Stolen Airline ID Badge

Man Lived in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for Three Months Using Stolen Airline ID Badge

A man has been accused of managing to live and sleep for three months in a secure part of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD) by using a stolen airline employee identification card to get past security. Aditya Singh, 36 of Los Angeles told police that he had been too afraid to fly because he feared catching COVID-19 so stayed in the airport instead.

Singh has been charged with felony criminal trespass in a restricted area of the airport, as well as misdemeanour theft. He has been granted bail with a bond of $1,000 and a ban on returning to the airport. It’s not clear whether Singh has the funds to secure his release.

Photo Credit: Silvia Fang via Unsplash. Chicago O’Hare

Prosecutors say Singh arrived in Chicago on a flight from Los Angeles on October 19, 2020, but never actually left the airport. Instead, he remained in an airside part of the airport and may have been able to access secure non-passenger areas by using a stolen employee ID card.

Singh’s new living arrangements were only discovered on Saturday when two United Airlines employees challenged the trespasser and demanded to see his ID badge. Singh allegedly presented an ID badge that he was wearing around his neck that actually belonged to an operations manager who had reported it missing last October.

After realising Singh was an imposter, United staffers called local enforcement who arrested Singh close to Gate F12 in Terminal 2.

Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said Singh claimed he found the ID badge. He told officers that he decided to stay at the airport because he was “scared to go home due to COVID.”

Singh, who has a master’s degree in hospitality, does not have a criminal history and is currently unemployed. It remains unclear why he travelled to Chicago in the first place.

Judge Susana Ortiz, however, said she feared Singh may be a danger to the community because he managed to breach a secure part of the airport.

“Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community,” Judge Ortiz commented during a hearing on Sunday in remarks reported by the Chicago Tribune.

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