Theft by TSA employees of passenger valuables a nationwide problem

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Doesn’t this make you feel safer? Theft by TSA employees of passenger valuables has become a nationwide problem.

According to TSA records, press reports, and court documents . . . some 500 TSA officers . . . have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage since the agency’s creation in November of 2001. The airports servicing New York City—John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty—harbor the most flagrant offenders, but virtually no city in the nation is safe from the TSA’s sticky fingers.

In 2009, a half dozen TSA agents at Miami International Airport were charged with grand theft after boosting an iPod, bottles of perfume, cameras, a GPS system, a Coach purse, and a Hewlett Packard Mini Notebook from passengers’ luggage. Travelers passing through the airport’s checkpoints reported as many as 1,500 items stolen, the majority of which were never recovered.

In May of this year alone, TSA agents were arrested on the suspicion of theft at airports in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.



  • John M. Egan

    Which is the greater threat- terrorism or TSA employees helping themselves to our property?

  • Thomas Hoisington

    They were doing this long beform TSA was involved talk to anybody everybody has had something lost and this was long before TSA was involved. The problem is they hired same baggage handlers as before just retrained them. Old story somebody is just updating it because of TSA issue. If your going to do a story check your history.

  • Kelly Starks

    Though really – given TSA was formed as a political kickback to federal unions that used 9-11 as a excuse, but curiously TSA’s dramatically worse ability to find weapons and contraband gets no reaction from congress other then raising the agency’s budget. Well, if the agency was created as a rip off to the public, aren’t the agents just doing what the agency is for?


  • Greg

    I am sure many persons do not even report theft. I know we didn’t. My girlfriend was missing a ring (not expensive) after a TSA check. You get so flustered with all your stuff, they can just lift it with out you knowing it.

    I also had a pair of pants ruined by TSA going through my suitcase. I got it back with the inspection sticker and later found a hole punched in a pair of my pants.

    My other bad experience was almost not making a flight, the mistake of trying to bring my non liquid laundry detergent back with me as baggage, no even carry on. The tsa agent did not even know what oxiclean was, and could not find it in his magic book of what is ok to bring on board, this caused a 45 minute problem for them. I even said just keep it or throw it away, but they would not.

  • Kelly Starks

    Worst case of TSA abuse I ever heard of was a WW-II vet flying back to give a speech at west point, and missed his flight because he was held up by TSA because they insisted on confiscating and throwing away his Congressional medal of Honor as being a potential weapon.

  • Kelly Starks

    Oh, also I suppose the fact they generally are reluctant to hassel anyone who looks like a mideast male for fear of being accused of profileing – but if your a pretty female, your highly likely to need a bit of a strip search – should be mentioned in passing.

    Maybe if Gov Perry from Texas wins as pres we can get him to make TSA accountable to sexual assault charges.

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