Just because an airport’s carry-on security checkpoint is loaded with TSA officials doesn’t mean the belongings you place into bins are safe from theft. Just yesterday, a 60-year-old Republic Airways flight attendant was arrested at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, according to reports, after swiping a passenger’s $8,000 bracelet while going through the TSA line.
The owner of the bracelet had placed her jewelry in a bin that was moving on a conveyor belt, as required by TSA, but after she herself went through security and caught up to the bin, her bracelet was missing.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said Rebecca Valley, 60, of Wesley Chapel, Fla., works for the regional carrier and was charged with one count of grand larceny. The owner of the jewelry reported that it was valued at $8,000, Nosal said. …
TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said in an email that the victim, who has not been identified, told security workers that her jewelry was missing after she went through the checkpoint.
Officers from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department and TSA examined recordings of the checkpoint and saw “a second traveler in a flight attendant’s uniform pick up the jewelry,” Farbstein said. Police found the alleged thief in the airport terminal.
And just a week before yesterday’s incident, a gentleman was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to Yahoo!, after pinching another passenger’s wedding band from the TSA security checkpoint. The thief was booked on a flight that was about to take off but authorities got to him first.
“This is a story with a happy ending,” said Federal Security Director Thomas Carter. “The video was sharp and there was a clear image of what the thief looked like. The police understood the urgency in tracking down the man before he was able to fly off.”
Personally, it always makes me nervous putting items in bins that are moving faster than the passengers trying to move through the TSA’s x-ray machines and human scanners. Maybe it’s best to leave the expensive stuff at home — assuming your house doesn’t get robbed while you’re away.