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TSA Employee Caught With $200K Worth of Stolen Property

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the if-at-first-you-succeed,-try,-try-again-until-you-don't dept.

Security 655

The plane moves me or I move the plane? writes "After years of people complaining about their luggage locks being broken in the name of the Transportation Security Administration, and after countless properly-stowed utilities and tools had been scrutinized from a paranoid point of view, an employee of the TSA (which is part of the Department of Homeland Security) has been captured with evidence of over $200,000 worth of stolen property he was selling on eBay. With the help of local police and the USPS, a search of his house found a great deal of property pilfered from the un-witnessed searches that occurred after luggage had been checked, where the rightful owner was not allowed. 'Among the items seized were 66 cameras, 31 laptop computers, 20 cell phones, 17 sets of electronic games, 13 pieces of jewelry, 12 GPS devices, 11 MP3 players, eight camera lenses, six video cameras and two DVD players, the affidavit said.'"

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655 comments

thieves standing around (5, Insightful)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432195)

jesus christ.

i'm mailing my shit next time.

Re:thieves standing around (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432235)

66 cameras, 31 laptop computers, 20 cell phones, 17 sets of electronic games, 13 pieces of jewelry, 12 GPS devices, 11 MP3 players, eight camera lenses, six video cameras and two DVD players

$200K? That can't be right. 11 MP3's are worth that much according to the RIAA.

Re:thieves standing around (1)

schon (31600) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432799)

$200K? That can't be right. 11 MP3's are worth that much according to the RIAA.

I'm sure all of these players had nothing on them, so they wouldn't be using the RIAA's numbers. :)

Re:thieves standing around (5, Interesting)

johndmartiniii (1213700) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432295)

Yah, that doesn't always work either. I live in Egypt, and once your shit hits the border here it gets opened so that a tariff can be levied, but half the time you never get the tariff notice, because someone who works in the postal service, the trade bureau, or wherever just steals it.

You also face import tariff in almost any country if you ship certain items. That can make it very expensive.

Soon, it is only going to be safe and easy to take whatever you can carry in your pockets or shove up your ass.

Re:thieves standing around (2, Insightful)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432389)

which is why my laptop, camera, and phone never leave my sight.

Re:thieves standing around (5, Funny)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432701)

You shove your laptop, camera and phone up your ass?

Re:thieves standing around (1)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432749)

LOL

no, i just keep them on my person.

Re:thieves standing around (5, Funny)

AngryLlama (611814) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432765)

You can see up your ass?

Re:thieves standing around (5, Insightful)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432741)

which is why my laptop, camera, and phone never leave my sight.

You don't have a choice. The TSA has the authority to seize anything. You either give it to them or get arrested and they take it anyway.

The issue here is that instead of following procedure and putting the items in the TSA system, the agent decided to keep them. This is not new. I remember, as a kid, reading about about a customs agent caught keeping items he had seized. Legally. The government charged him with stealing government property. The items in question where never returned to their original owners.

Re:thieves standing around (5, Insightful)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432403)

The summary is trying to make this about "un-witnessed searches," but this is about dishonest transport employees. Lazy employees have been stealing random valuables being transported from the time that the first wagons and boats got invented.

Re:thieves standing around (5, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432543)

The summary is trying to make this about "un-witnessed searches," but this is about dishonest transport employees.

...who only have the opportunity/incentive to be dishonest because of the "un-witnessed searches", yes?

Re:thieves standing around (5, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432585)

Right, because nothing was ever stolen from baggage until a few years ago...

Re:thieves standing around (5, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432619)

We weren't prevented from locking our baggage until a few years ago.

Re:thieves standing around (4, Insightful)

tacocat (527354) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432705)

Actually, it used to be that you could carry on all your most valuable items and be able to travel with some degree of personal property security because you were personally in charge of it.

Today the less you carry on, the less hassle you get. Problem now is that everything you check is likely to be rummaged. I've lost diving gear without recourse. Kind of a pain.

I have little interest in traveling by air anymore for just this reason. The less you carry, the better chance of you arriving. I don't think there is any real security considering. For $200,000 from one person, I wonder just how many travelors are victims of robbery there are since HSA versus the number of travelors turned victims from terrorists.

Re:thieves standing around (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432757)

The summary is trying to make this about "un-witnessed searches," but this is about dishonest transport employees

The problem is: the Toiletry Seizing Agency does not make us safer at all, so any downside to the program (like this) is not offset by any upside at all. This is not a mixed bag, this is pure evil.

Tis the season.. (2, Funny)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432207)

Among the items seized were 66 cameras, 31 laptop computers, 20 cell phones, 17 sets of electronic games, 13 pieces of jewelry, 12 GPS devices, 11 MP3 players, eight camera lenses, six video cameras and two DVD players, the affidavit said.

And a partridge in a pear... TREEEEEEEEE!

Re:Tis the season.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432485)

word for word what i was going to post, gj.

Re:Tis the season.. (5, Funny)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432521)

I'd rather have someone respond than be modded up.

Your post was funny.

flying sux (4, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432211)

And yet another reason why flying in the US sucks.

Re:flying sux (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432259)

And yet another reason why flying in the US sucks.

But Ebay is great: A++++ seller, would buy from him again!

Re:flying sux (4, Funny)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432753)

Only A++++ and one exclamation mark? That's virtually a negative on eBay.

Re:flying sux (5, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432311)

Just curious - will they actually have the right to inspect your property (open your bags) without you being present if you look at it from the strict view of what the constitution says?

More specific the Fourth Amendment [usconstitution.net] .

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Of course - X-raying wasn't on the list when that amendment was written, but that should be OK, but as soon as the property is to be opened I would like to first have a warrant and then also be able to contest that before any proceeding.

Has there ever been a court verdict saying that the fourth amendment isn't valid here?

Re:flying sux (5, Interesting)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432439)

You waive your rights when you purchase your ticket.

Re:flying sux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432605)

So... purchasing a ticket from a private corporation invalidates your right to reasonable searches from a government agency?

It would be one thing if the searches were done by the airlines themselves (which would allow you some recourse) but this is a law enforcement agency.

Further, is this a right that can be invalidated? It isn't a given that you can sign away a right even if you consent.

Re:flying sux (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432659)

You cannot waive your constitutional rights (or ammendments therein)

Re:flying sux (0, Flamebait)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432763)

Ever sign a non-disclosure agreement? You've just signed away your constitutional right to free speech.

Re:flying sux (4, Insightful)

jlowery (47102) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432771)

What are you smoking? A Miranda warning spells out your rights, then asks if you wish to waive them. How much more expicit does it need to get?

Re:flying sux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432783)

Of course you can. I wave my Second Amendment right all the time by voluntarily entering certain facilities.

Re:flying sux (5, Insightful)

Beached (52204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432465)

But you forget. It is a voluntary search as you give them permission by boarding. They will say that you did not have to enter the boarding areas that are usually clearly marked.

Oops that still is the rule in Canada but in the US it is no longer the case http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/08/court-says-trav.html [wired.com] as you pretty much cannot enter the airport without automatically agreeing to be searched at any time.

Oh well, if you drive or take the bus or train you still have some rights that are upheld. But to get people to refuse to fly and hurt the airline industry in a way that makes them listen probably will not happen.

This still leaves private aircraft.

Re:flying sux (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432477)

The key word of that sentence, and one open to interpretation, is 'unreasonable'...

Re:flying sux (1)

flooey (695860) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432579)

Has there ever been a court verdict saying that the fourth amendment isn't valid here?

I believe so, under the grounds that you are voluntarily submitting to the search (by choosing to fly). You have the option of not flying, which wouldn't cause your stuff to be searched, so it's not a violation of the security of your effects.

It's like if a police officer came to your door and asked you to come inside. If you say that it's okay, and then they see something illegal inside your place, that's admissible in court, because you let them in voluntarily.

It's definitely the kind of thing that's borderline, since you do have travel options other than flying, but none of the other options are really equivalent in any way. I'm not entirely sure where I stand on the issue. I think the behind-the-scenes stupidity is ridiculous, of course, but I'm undecided about whether or not bag searches as a requirement to getting on a plane are ultimately a good or bad idea.

Re:flying sux (4, Insightful)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432649)

Its getting to be that if you want to fly somewhere, you FedEx your stuff to your destination, then report to the airport in your birthday suit...

Re:flying sux (4, Funny)

thewils (463314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432397)

Cheer up. At least you don't get tased to death.

All of the MacBook Airs are mine... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432215)

As well as any loose cash. I'm missing several million, so it may not all be there.

Who watches (5, Interesting)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432217)

"Sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes?"
(But who is to guard the guardians?)
Juvenal, Satires, circa 120 AD

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1, Redundant)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432229)

As always, the question comes down to, who will watch the watchers?

Re:Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

ral8158 (947954) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432271)

At this point, there are no watchers--just a mob of thieves extorting you for protection money.

Re:Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (5, Interesting)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432563)

And if nobody was supervising him to make sure he didn't steal things, what was to prevent him from introducing dangerous items into the luggage?

How hard would it be for someone with ill intent to get a TSA job?

Re:Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

Ross D Anderson (1020653) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432647)

Batman

$200K (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432241)

Hmm, $200K? Fortune cookie right now on slashdot:

There's a little picture of ED MCMAHON doing BAD THINGS to JOAN RIVERS in a $200,000 MALIBU BEACH HOUSE!!

Re:$200K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432437)

Yessssss! You are correct, sir.

(* /me hopes the mods are old enough to get that reference.)

And there you have it! (2, Insightful)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432245)

You yanks are safe from terrorism!

Your own officers is a different matter though...

Government sanctioned theft. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432247)

Stop searching shit. I'm a photographer and i'll be traveling to Ohio for a photo shoot by CAR. Yes its an 8 hour drive... but i'm not flying with my gear because i'm too afraid of my gear ending up on a different flight or in some assholes jacket pocket.

Re:Government sanctioned theft. (2, Funny)

ral8158 (947954) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432277)

You could just fedex it. Unless your time is worth less than like, $5 an hour.

Re:Government sanctioned theft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432551)

Yeah i was thinking of fed Ex'ing the gear, but honestly when i started to think about it... the drive sounded kind of fun.

Re:Government sanctioned theft. (4, Interesting)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432553)

I previously read on /. a method of shipping your camera gear safely.

A reader had said he'd purchased a larger aluminum suitcase / roadcase, with foam cutouts for his camera gear, and a flare gun.

Upon arriving at the airport, he'd declare he had a weapon, and check the suitcase as a weapon. It got stored, handled and inspected differently, and he never had any loses.

Seems to make sense to me...

Re:Government sanctioned theft. (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432607)

Those usually have to be securely locked shut during flight too(at least for firearms I think), and not the little luggage locks people put between two zippers.

Told to F-O (5, Informative)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432251)

After having my TSA-approved lock ripped off of my new suitcase on its very first trip and basically told to F-O about complaints over it (Oh, it might have gotten caught in the machinery, and btw, why are you locking it at all) this is vindication - but no better protection than yesterday - of what a lot of us have been saying for a very long time. Yes I want my flight to land as safely as it took off since I'm in it, but providing a secret open hunting ground for minimum wage employees doesn't cut it for me.

Re:Told to F-O (5, Insightful)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432367)

Furthermore, I don't quite see why this is that terribly hard to handle properly. All the searches (yes ALL of them) should be videotaped and the videos held for a duration significantly long enough to permit any traveler to file a claim against any loss. This should be codified into law and rigorously enforced by independent oversight.

Why is this hard?

Yes, I realize the difficulties this would pose of documenting everything everyone is carrying. But this seems inevitable anyway given where we seem to be headed.

There needs to be a deep shift in perception away from the idea that the TSA polices us to the concept that they WORK FOR us. In the same vein, a transition is needed from the idea that we are all criminals to the idea that they are as well. Indeed, if the TSA has nothing to hide surely they wouldn't mind such oversight...

Re:Told to F-O (5, Insightful)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432613)

This kind of level of thoughtfulness would require competence. But maybe if we make enough noise they will agree to this, if only as an excuse to raise their budgets.

Let me say this: I am shocken, truly SHOCKED, ... (4, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432265)

that there might be people who find this surprising.

Re:Let me say this: I am shocken, truly SHOCKED, . (1)

flipperdo (1172057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432795)

I'm surprised that you're shocked that there might be people who find this surprising. People are often surprised by things which, if they just stood back and looked at the bigger picture, shouldn't be surprising at all.

But if anyone's shocked that I'm surprised, I wouldn't find that surprising --- I'd be astonished!

This is a TSA response to the seizure problem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432279)

At least you have a chance of getting your stolen stuff back from ebay.

Who says government doesn't work?

The TSA's work is not yet done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432281)

With all those laptops, they still have a lot of privacy invasion to do before this case is closed. And the RIAA will have to pull double shifts, as well - all those MP3 players means _a lot_ of threat letters to mail out.

one arrest won't even dent this plague (4, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432287)

This tells us nothing we didn't know already: airport security is riddled with thieves. Whether they take stuff out of your checked luggage, or take it off you blatantly at the security gates - there are no safeguards, oversights or checks to stop these people acting with impunity.

These are the modern day (government approved) highwaymen and the only solution I can think of is to label them socially ("you work in airport security? oh dear - is that the time already ...") as the pariahs they really are.

Re:one arrest won't even dent this plague (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432457)

"You work in airport security?" ::cocks shot gun, aims at guy's head::::

"You better get a runnin motherfucker!"

How deep does the rabbit hole go? (2, Interesting)

Bob-o-Matic! (620698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432297)

According to TFA, Brown has been employed as a screener since 2002. How much has he already sold?

Are there more sophisticated screeners in organized crime?

I'm so disgusted we pay people to waste our time, harass us, and steal from us. I'm looking at you, dept. of homeland security and TSA. Go out and get productive jobs, you leaches.

Stealing is a standard procedure in Argentina (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432307)

Here is Argentina ALL "TSA equivalent" employees, steal from travelers. If you came to Argentina, don't you ever put something valuable in luggage, carry it with you!.

I don't understand... (4, Interesting)

mishehu (712452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432337)

...why the TSA is allowed to open up packages without the presence of the owner of said packages. If they were forced to page the owner to come back and observe the TSA performing a screening on the contents, that would cut down a lot on the opportunity for this type of theft to occur. If the owner doesn't respond to the page from the TSA, then the package simply is not allowed onboard is a fair policy I think. Also, make sure that the TSA personnel are required to fill out paperwork for every package they page the owners for will cut down on abuse of powers as well.

Re:I don't understand... (5, Insightful)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432405)

...why the TSA is allowed to open up packages without the presence of the owner of said packages. If they were forced to page the owner to come back and observe the TSA performing a screening on the contents, that would cut down a lot on the opportunity for this type of theft to occur. If the owner doesn't respond to the page from the TSA, then the package simply is not allowed onboard is a fair policy I think. Also, make sure that the TSA personnel are required to fill out paperwork for every package they page the owners for will cut down on abuse of powers as well.

That's some good thinkin you got there....almost a little too good. You're a witc...er terrorist!

The guy did a great job of keeping our kids safe (5, Funny)

Dude McDude (938516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432339)

Imagine all the photographs of naked children that could be taken with 66 cameras.
Imagine all the child porn that could be download/stored/viewed using 31 laptop computers.
Imagine all the phone calls paedophiles could make with 20 cell phones.
Imagine all the children that could be lured into a paedophiles house with 17 sets of electronic games, and 13 pieces of jewellery.
Imagine all the children that could be tracked with 12 GPS devices.
Imagine all the children that could be deafened by paedophiles letting children use 11 MP3 players at high volume.
Imagine the sick movies made and viewed using six video cameras and two DVD players.
And the eight camera lenses......dear God the eight camera lenses!!!

Re:The guy did a great job of keeping our kids saf (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432577)

Imagine all the terrorist activities that could be planned with 31 laptops.

Imagine all the terrorist planning and setup that could be done with 20 cell phones.

Imagine all the terrorist messages and beheadings that could be filmed with 66 cameras...........
  I bet someone could write a list for the RIAA too.

Tip of the iceberg? (4, Interesting)

symbolic (11752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432343)

I remember reading a statistic recently citing that over 100,000 laptops were "lost or stolen" within the realm of airline travel. Now I wonder how many of these occurrences are inside jobs.

Re:Tip of the iceberg? (5, Interesting)

jlowery (47102) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432739)

I have never, ever trusted TSA enough to put a laptop in my checked baggage when on a business trip.

In some cities, TSA has gotten so rude. Just went through Denver and organization was a mess, helpful signage was sparse to none, and yet somehow they expected passengers to go through security like little inerring automatons. At one point, I had to try to juggle two bins carring my laptop and briefcase (along with a jacket) so that the TSA worker there could replace the stack of bins underneath with a fresh stack of bins. As the passenger next to me said, "Was that really necessary?" Well, who cares? Inconveniencing the flying public is at the heart of their job.

As bad as Denver was, Philly is the worst. The contempt for passengers is thick in the air. I half expect cattle prods to make their appearance there within the next two years.

Wow (4, Insightful)

Colonel Sponsz (768423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432347)

I guess TSA Gangstaz [youtube.com] (NSFW!) was actually a documentary then...

I buy cheap luggage (2)

LM741N (258038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432355)

Then epoxy it together. When I get to my location, I tear it apart and buy more cheap luggage. Problem solved. I suppose now someone will see this and make epoxy illegal.

Re:I buy cheap luggage (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432513)

A friend of mine Fedex's his from location to location - no need to check stuff in, pick it up after the flight, no hassles and all of the hotels he stays in are willing to cooperate when he explains what hes doing. He carries an overnight kit in his carry-on, just in case. Costs him a little more, but not so much that hes considering stopping.

A perfectly good argument... (1)

laxlavishsoft.com (1325941) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432369)

... for traveling light. Avoid checking any luggage at all, carry on only! Not only do you save time by not having to wait around for your luggage (which may never arrive) at the belt, but you can also stay within view of your gear.

Re:A perfectly good argument... (4, Interesting)

DutchSter (150891) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432583)

... for traveling light. Avoid checking any luggage at all, carry on only! Not only do you save time by not having to wait around for your luggage (which may never arrive) at the belt, but you can also stay within view of your gear.

This works fine for me when I go on short personal trips, but most of the time I find it's not just not practical. I'm always carrying something prohibited. The carry-on restrictions with regards to liquids finally pushed me over the edge. I wear contacts, use hair gel, like deodorant, prefer to brush my teeth and actually shave. This pushes me beyond the one small clear bag that I can hold up while some goon pretends to be able to tell if it's potentially explosive.

Then there's the problem that when I travel for work, I'm usually carrying a firearm. Even if I'm not, being from southern Ohio I never go anywhere without my trusty pocket knife (which has to be checked).

Believe it or not I was once told by a TSA supervisor that by having a gun in my luggage I'm probably least likely to be ripped off. Since it's in a locked case in my suitcase, presumably the thief would think it's valuable and try to bust it open. Upon finding it's a gun if he's smart he'll close it up and run away. If I get to my destination and find my gun is missing, unlike say a stolen iPod, both airports will likely go on lockdown until it can be accounted for. Even a $7.00 hour grunt realizes that everybody down there will be searched and all the video tape will be immediately reviewed. As an added bonus, TSA hand screens my checked luggage in front of me when I check in. They then seal it up with the "Passed TSA Security" sticker while I stand there. Theoretically it then goes straight to the airline and bypasses the other checked luggage that has to be screened by some unknown down below.

Re:A perfectly good argument... (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432651)

Unless I'm bringing something that I can't legally carry on board (usually tools) I don't remember the last time I had checked baggage. You can buy toothpaste when you get there, hotels have shampoo, etc.

You can have two carry-ons at this point, unless you're traveling for more than a week I don't understand how most people can't get away with what they can keep with them.

This increases safety and security by ... ? (4, Insightful)

Brad Eleven (165911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432377)

I remember clearly the latter half of September 2001. Of course there were the plastic flags flying from almost every motor vehicle, but what stands out for me is the memory of how I kept scanning the horizon for explosions when I was driving.

I didn't feel safe. Not that I'd ever been safe, but my perception had always been so.

The thing that still puzzles me, though, is how we in the US have tolerated such a rapid erosion of civil liberty. It's not that our documented rights and freedoms haven't been violated all along, but now there are legal provisions--and already some legal precedent--to protect and justify such violations.

Sure, sure, human psychology, thinking with the fear centers of our brains, even the Milgram Experiment--these and more describe how we react to a perceived threat. And fear is known to reduce the blood supply to the brain.

I find it sad to consider that this particular finding will have no effect on the encroachment on human rights in these United States. I suppose this man is just one "bad apple." Like the cases of the prosecuted torturers at Abu Ghraib (and other locations), the years-later finding that the illegal and shocking techniques were known and even encouraged by the entire organization will have no effect on the policies which shall remain in place.

NOTES TO SELF... (1)

burtosis (1124179) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432387)

1) If want to continue high priced imbezzeling job, don't steal unique tracable items worth over 10k.

2) Pee on more luggage.

3) If there is nothing worth stealing, swap with other bags or just F**K it up a bit. That will show em'

Now, there's an interesting statistic... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432391)

"She [Unselding] also said that his crimes were rare and that less than 300 TSA employees have been terminated for theft.

"The actions of a few individuals in no way reflect on the outstanding job our more than 43,000 security officers do every day to ensure the security of the traveling public," she said. "

What an interesting statistic. 300/43000 = 0.7%. So, catching 0.7% of their employees stealing isn't significant? And those are only the ones caught. And yet we hear all the time on /. about the next expensive and probably worthless scheme to screen terrorists is okay even if it yields a percent or two of false positives along the way??

It's pretty pathetic if they can't even trust their own staff to the tune of 0.7%. Maybe they should improve their security.

Re:Now, there's an interesting statistic... (2, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432473)

Because that would cost money. If they had to pay their employees a reasonable salary they'd have to pass the cost on to somebody. So rather than every passenger paying a couple dollars more a flight, they just lose stuff out of random bags.

It's a lottery style payment scheme.

Re:Now, there's an interesting statistic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432599)

>If they had to pay their employees a reasonable salary they'd have to pass the cost on to somebody.

Fallacy. They could become more efficient. How about re-deploying military personnel, whose salaries are already budgeted?

It's an isolated case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432445)

Usually the cops look the other way

Answers age old question... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432451)

Who watches the watchers?

With the help of local police and the USPS...

I guess it's the Post Office :-)

Re:Answers age old question... (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432679)

Great, because they haven't lost\stolen hundreds of dollars worth of my stuff.

There's a reason I don't let anyone send me anything I actually want to receive unless it has a tracking number attached to it.

Customs = thieves (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432487)

How is that different from a tariff ?

Hey! That's my MacBook (5, Insightful)

microcars (708223) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432493)

in the AP Photo!

but I am comforted to learn from the article that:

"...less than 300 TSA employees have been terminated for theft."

I read that as
"CLOSE TO THREE HUNDRED EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN TERMINATED FOR THEFT!"

That's not a MacBook! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432529)

That's a Wallstreet, Lombard or Pismo. I'm guessing Wallstreet from it's thickness. Best laptops Apple's ever made, IMHO!

Re:Hey! That's my MacBook (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432759)

"CLOSE TO THREE HUNDRED EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN TERMINATED FOR THEFT!"

Agreed, especially when you consider these employees supposedly passed security and background checks themselves before they were hired. Just shows the screens of the screeners are ineffective, not to mention, it seems to clearly indicate (or not, since after all, if you get caught and are punished, the point is not to do it again) good backgrounds don't show anything about future criminal activity.

Government types frequently like to say that for every X criminal, X*Y where Y > 1 by a good margin is NOT caught, or is doing some other crime. Take their word for it--how many other things are going on that aren't caught?

Police or police types acting like criminals to watch and protect the citizenry--what a standard, typical thing to read about these days.

Anyone surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432495)

Given human nature, the opening for unobserved luggage searches, the non-accountability the security agencies, it all adds up to people and their property being safer on the freeways than the airlines.

I have a friend who claimed that global warming and the end of oil would doom the airlines. It's more likely that these sorts of actions by the people who are supposed to be keeping us safe that will force more people off the airways and back onto the freeways.

The best part... (5, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432509)

The best part of the article is near the end. Something along the line of "Don't worrie, crimes like these are REALLY rare. Only about 300 TSA employees have ever been fired for theft".

300 employees fired for theft. If you read the article (i know, i know...) the only reason this guy got caught was because he's a retard (putting his return address on the stuff he sells, always using the same name on ebay, etc). So if 300 were caught, there's probably several times that many. Then you add that the TSA has like 40-45 thousand employees... and that adds up to 2/3rd of a percent of their total workforce (of course, the 300 figure is over time, but its still interesting to put the numbers in perspective).

Thats just insane. It takes only one person to steal enough to really ruins some people's days. And here you have -hundreds- (just the ones that were caught!!!). I'll suffer through GreyHound busses, thank you.

mod parent insightful (1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432695)

you know it is.

Bad man's girlfriend (not a joke) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432557)

I think it's sick that people get raped in prison by fellow inmates, but didn't this guy ever stop and think what would happen if he got caught and sent to prison

Funny feedback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432575)

"awesome little camcorder, but missing the instructions"
"Grey Market Item, no Nikon warranty. Product works and as described"
"Great seller! $10k equipment! I love it, Very fast shipping. Thanks!!!!!"

Good thing this is the good ol USA, where victims (3, Insightful)

electrogeist (1345919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432589)

where victims of theft get 600-26000 times the actual damages these days. Right? [slashdot.org]

Oh wait, this is real hard property...

She also said that his crimes were rare and that less than 300 TSA employees have been terminated for theft.

That is not exactly an encouraging number.

Slashdot..say it ain't so (3, Funny)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432617)

How dare you criticize anything the administration does during any of the wars they fraudulently start.
If you criticize anything you're with the terrorists.
It's all being stolen for your security.
Most of that equipment could be used to access or record information that could undermine the current administration with stuff like facts.

UPS is your friend (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432627)

Swing by UPS on your way to the airport and just ship your stuff to yourself. You don't have to deal with security and it will be delivered straight to your hotel room. It might even be cheaper than checking it.

Is this news? (1)

Goaty66 (1190783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432661)

I've always just assumed that anything I checked would be up for grabs. Has anyone been outside recently? This is the world we live in. It's only going to get worse. Next they'll just be randomly shooting passengers in the head, purely as a preventative measure.

Homeland security.... (4, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432667)

... sorry but this shit just ain't acceptable.

Its another of a long and growing list of government abuses that are easily amounting to be worse than the terrorism its supposed to be protecting us from.

"Those who sacrifice freedom in exchange for security, will have neither."

who said that?

This is what happens (2, Insightful)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432681)

When you pay people roughly minimum wage to run security.

You don't exactly get the best people and you get the opportunity for theft.

That said, my electronics NEVER get checked. They go through the x-ray machine where I can keep a fairly good eye on them.

penny arcade said it best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25432689)

the Federal Bureau of Taking All Your Shit
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/1/24/

Any word on it being returned? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432697)

That would certainly make for a lot of cases of adverse possession [google.com]

He may not be the only one going to prison if the buyers aren't returning it.

Look at the numbers! (5, Insightful)

JambisJubilee (784493) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432699)

From TFA:

465 transportation security officers have been terminated for theft since May 1, 2003

Does anyone find this a little extreme? That's a little over one firing for theft every 4 days!

Makes one wonder...

Who still CHECKS valuables? (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432711)

I have never trusted baggage handlers. The only stuff that has ever gone in my checked bag is clothes and toiletries, and I still put a TSA lock on it (and a zip tie, so I'll know at a glance if it's been opened).

Anything of any value at all gets carried on with me, especially small electronic items. I just don't understand these people who will put valuables in checked bags-- especially items small enough to be carried on.

~Philly

I'm applying for a job at the TSA! (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432769)

I'm going to specifically ask during the interview if I can be put in charge of the "un-witnessed searches".

Hey has anyone... (1)

solweil (1168955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432775)

asked "who watches the watchers" yet?

Get back in line, citizen (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#25432777)

Unless you'd like a room at the Hotel Gitmo.

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