Sunday, December 9, 2012

New York: TSA Screener, 32, Pilfering Luggage at JFK, Charged, To Be Fired

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener Sean J. Henry, 32, of Brooklyn, NY, was arrested as he left JFK Airport on Tuesday (December 4) with two Port Authority Police Department GPS-equipped “bait iPads,” a 17-inch MacBook Pro, and  another laptop in his bag. Additionally, another stolen Apple laptop was also found in his home. 

Henry was subsequently arrested and charged with larceny, possession of stolen property, and official misconduct. He is awaiting arraignment. He is also suspended indefinitely without pay and will be terminated for cause by the TSA.

COMMENT: Unfortunately for the TSA, misconduct on the part of its screeners is an ongoing challenge for the agency, as there have been other cases of screeners pilfering high-value passengers' property from checked luggage.

New York Senator Chuck Shumer (D-NY) is to be commended for urging TSA to conduct sting operations and to subject screeners to the same searches as passengers when they leave work to ensure they are not stealing from luggage.

According to Shumer’s office, 381 TSA screeners were terminated for theft from May 2003 to December 2011. Additionally, FAA statistics reveal that missing items from luggage were reported by 206 passengers in 2011.

Even though airport security experts urge passengers to NOT place high-value property, including electronics, in CHECKED luggage, they continue to do so, obviously unaware of the high risk of TSA theft.

Passengers should note that they should transport ALL digital cameras, laptops, iPods, MP3 players, tablets, jewelry, credit cards and smart-phones in CARRY-ON luggage only.