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TSA Employee Stole $50k Worth of Electronics

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the phew-glad-that's-over dept.

Crime 220

mrquagmire writes "A Continental Airlines employee Monday caught Nelson Santiago-Serrano, 30, stealing an iPad from a suitcase in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office. Over the past six months, Santiago-Serrano told authorities he stole $50,000 worth of computers, GPS devices and other electronics from luggage he screened, took pictures of them to post for sale online and sold the items often by the time his shift ended."

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220 comments

Your government dollars at work. (4, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 3 years ago | (#36700808)

Thank god for the TSA. I feel safer already.

Why doesn't the American Media Corporation.... (2, Interesting)

sgt_doom (655561) | about 3 years ago | (#36701266)

...which really is the sole source of what passes for MainStreamMedia in the US, ever report that the organization which vets, or does the background checks for the TSA, is Xe Services, formerly known as Blackwater USA??? Never, never will they ever report that very crucial fact, which may be why over 55 sky marshals (the doods with the guns aboard the jetliners) have been fired, and/or convicted and jailed for everything from human trafficking, to drug smuggling, rape, etc., etc.? Blackwater OK's the crooks, so the TSA is full of crooks.

Please cite your sources (3, Informative)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 3 years ago | (#36701466)

Please cite the source of your information.

Re:Your government dollars at work. (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | about 3 years ago | (#36701576)

Something like this is bound to happen occasionally whether the TSA does the screening or someone else. The only difference is that if a private company was doing the screening the screeners would be guaranteed to be minimum wage employees and many of them would have previous arrest records as was the case before the TSA started.

Re:Your government dollars at work. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36701602)

Something like this is bound to happen occasionally whether the TSA does the screening or someone else.

It happens less when you're separated from your electronic doodads for several minutes while you're shuffled into a separate line for the scanner.

Re:Your government dollars at work. (2)

tqk (413719) | about 3 years ago | (#36701730)

Something like this is bound to happen occasionally whether the TSA does the screening or someone else.

He's in an airport, one of the most heavily CCTV'd places on 21st Century Earth, was only caught because a sharp eyed employee noticed, and he got away with it for six months, after stealing $50,000, while advertising his stolen wares on the web.

You're an idiot!

Re:Your government dollars at work. (2)

tqk (413719) | about 3 years ago | (#36701772)

... while advertising his stolen wares on the web.

... and selling them while "at work." FFS!

TSA = Dumbasses (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36700816)

Gee, I wonder if the TSA will still claim, "our boys followed procedure, we stand behind them."

What a laughing stock the TSA has become.

once again, we ask - (2)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 3 years ago | (#36700870)

Who watches the watcher? No, do not look in the direction of Washington DC. Nobody there cares.

Re:once again, we ask - (4, Informative)

sco08y (615665) | about 3 years ago | (#36701472)

Who watches the watcher? No, do not look in the direction of Washington DC. Nobody there cares.

First off DC is not the only place to look. Texas has put together an "anti-groping" bill, supported by the governor. At least two presidential candidates have proposed abolishing it altogether. And there's a bill in the House aimed at making TSA agents liable for unwanted physical contact.

That's just from a quick search... there are plenty of legislators who are interested in reforming the TSA, but the specifics of how the TSA is run is the executive branch's responsibility, so you should probably write the President.

Re:once again, we ask - (5, Insightful)

IonOtter (629215) | about 3 years ago | (#36701756)

Except that Texas chickened out and backed off. The TSA threated to designate the entire state of Texas a "no-fly zone".

However, it would seem that a few legislators actually used their brains and thought about that for a moment, and decided to push the issue and call the government's bluff. [thehill.com]

I mean, seriously. Who actually believes that the feds would actually BAN all flights in and out of Texas?

Please...

Re:TSA = Dumbasses (1, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | about 3 years ago | (#36701012)

Gee, I wonder if the TSA will still claim, "our boys followed procedure, we stand behind them."

Too bad for him he was caught before they've finished unionizing. If he got away with it a little longer he would just sit in the TSA equivalent to a "rubber room" [newyorker.com] .

TSA is above the law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36700842)

Why does this not surprise me. Keep an eye on this I bet he gets a slap on the hand.

Re:TSA is above the law (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | about 3 years ago | (#36700950)

One way or the other, it's theft, and should have charges at the state or local level.

Whether he gets his job back after serving time is another question.

Re:TSA is above the law (1)

sco08y (615665) | about 3 years ago | (#36701218)

Why does this not surprise me. Keep an eye on this I bet he gets a slap on the hand.

Maybe you can ask Blogger Bob (no relation to Baghdad Bob!) over at the TSA blog [tsa.gov] , WTF?

Re:TSA is above the law (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 3 years ago | (#36701662)

He is a government employee. The government exempts themselves from most of the laws that you and me have to follow. I doubt he will even get a slap on the hand.

No Android gear stolen (1, Flamebait)

jmcbain (1233044) | about 3 years ago | (#36700846)

Because who wants fragmented software and hardware?

Re:No Android gear stolen (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#36701092)

Yeah, what kind of idiots enjoy choice and variety in their lives?

Re:No Android gear stolen (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36701622)

Yeah, what kind of idiots enjoy choice and variety in their lives?

The sort that see exploits in Open Source Software as proof of how great it is?

Re:No Android gear stolen (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 3 years ago | (#36701258)

Plenty of people [ebay.com] , apparently. He sold everything he stole. A random 30 year old Floridian working at the TSA booth stealing people's stuff probably isn't exactly a shrewd electronics aficionado, such as yourself.

Security FAIL (5, Insightful)

putaro (235078) | about 3 years ago | (#36700880)

If they can take something out without getting caught, they could be putting something in. Who would bother with suicide bombs if they can slip it into the luggage?

Re:Security FAIL (-1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 3 years ago | (#36700976)

That doesn't follow at all. As a passenger, I can walk out of an airport at any time without a security screening. I could conceivably steal something and leave. That doesn't mean I can easily smuggle things into an airport.

Re:Security FAIL (2)

lunchlady55 (471982) | about 3 years ago | (#36701068)

Key Words: "As a passenger"

You think they check EVERY meal cart as it's brought in by truck from some local food service contractor? What about the fuel tankers? What about the gift shop merch? As an EMPLOYEE it's probably really easy to sneak stuff in. You're part of the chain of trust, and as everyone knows, it's only as strong as the weakest link.

Re:Security FAIL (0)

artor3 (1344997) | about 3 years ago | (#36701124)

Key Word: "Probably"

You're just guessing. I was simply pointing out the failure in logic that if you can take something out, it must be possible to put something in. I'm not saying it's impossible to put something in, only that this doesn't prove (or even suggest) anything.

Re:Security FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701230)

It's not employee we're talking about, it's TSA agents. They are here to protect the people ; they are honest gu... wait a minute.

Re:Security FAIL (3, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | about 3 years ago | (#36701086)

10 to 1 the TSA agents don't have to submit to a grope or back scatter every morning when they start work. There should be three man teams, randomly assembled every day who have access to baggage. All other TSA agents should should not be able to see baggage let alone touch it. Otherwise, it is a security hole like GP mentioned.

Re:Security FAIL (3, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 3 years ago | (#36701166)

I have a better idea: Only screen for explosives, and let passengers carry weapons on the plane. Then we don't need the TSA gropes and terrorists don't stand a chance.

Re:Security FAIL (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 years ago | (#36701510)

I was going to subscribe to your newsletter, but then I thought about how many dead uppity stewardesses would result from armed passengers, and then I really wanted to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Security FAIL (0)

lexsird (1208192) | about 3 years ago | (#36701606)

+1 mod Funny as hell.

Re:Security FAIL (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | about 3 years ago | (#36701652)

I thought about how many dead uppity stewardesses would result from armed passengers.......

The skies would be friendlier, wouldn't they? :^)

Re:Security FAIL (1, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | about 3 years ago | (#36701698)

I have a better idea: Only screen for terrorists, and let passengers who have concealed-carry permits take their weapons aboard the plane.

Not very politically correct, but very common sense.

Oh, and I agree about not needing the TSA.

Re:Security FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701782)

Archie Bunker wanted to stop hijackings by issuing every passenger a .45!

I think he was onto something!

Re:Security FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701202)

You are assuming they do things intelligently for the purposes of security rather than theatre

Re:Security FAIL (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 3 years ago | (#36701550)

Actually, it is worse. The TSA agents are screened when their shift starts, then, they are allowed to leave the screening area and return to the secure area without re-screening. They can go and get their lunch and return without screening.

So the screening they receive in the morning is irrelevant.

Re:Security FAIL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701064)

Agreed, puto. Check this [judicialwatch.org] out(even if it is C/BP and not TSA):

The U.S. Border Patrol agent, Marcos Gerardo Manzano Jr....operated an illicit business from...the underground room in his yard this week. In it were illegal immigrants, 61 grams of methamphetamine and drug packaging paraphernalia....

among the illegal aliens living in the agent’s home is a twice-deported felon who happens to be his dad... (apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; chip off the old block). The elder Manzano is currently a fugitive with a drug conviction. He has been deported twice to his native Mexico and junior has repeatedly lied to federal authorities by claiming he’s had no contact with pops...

n the last few years a number of Homeland Security officers—from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Border Patrol—have been criminally charged for taking bribes to help illegal immigrants and drugs enter the U.S...Among the government’s most embarrassing case is a Border Patrol agent named Oscar Ortiz who admitted smuggling 100 illegal immigrants into the country in his government vehicle. The punch line is that Ortiz is himself an illegal immigrant who used a false birth certificate to get his government job. Once he got sworn in, Ortiz charged Mexicans $300 to $2,000 a pop to sneak them in through a crossing near Tecate.

Slashdot only allows people with my karma rating to post twice in a 24-hour period, but I got some fake citizenship papers and fooled the motherfuckers. Viva La RAZA pendejos!

 

Think of how many terrorists he stopped though! (3, Funny)

jergason (1406075) | about 3 years ago | (#36700898)

Think of how many terrorists he stopped though!

Re:Think of how many terrorists he stopped though! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36700936)

... and how many of them he sold on eBay too.

Re:Think of how many terrorists he stopped though! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701460)

rofl :P Terrorists for sale!

Re:Think of how many terrorists he stopped though! (4, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | about 3 years ago | (#36700948)

Think of how many terrorists he stopped though!

Yeah those apple lovers piss me off too!

Re:Think of how many terrorists he stopped though! (2)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 3 years ago | (#36701274)

Selling those bombs on ebay saved lives of passengers on-board the plane :)

Re:Think of how many terrorists he stopped though! (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 3 years ago | (#36701714)

Or how many terrorist plots he foiled ... by selling their bombs on ebay.

Pretent to be TSA (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 3 years ago | (#36700916)

So all anyone has to do to get past secuirty at an airport is pretent to be a TSA agent.

No news here (-1, Flamebait)

lul_wat (1623489) | about 3 years ago | (#36700922)

"Nelson Santiago-Serrano"

That's a spick name if ever I saw one. Less to do with him beign a TSA agent and more with being a spick.

Funny That (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36700934)

A few years back I had a suitcase stolen in Florida on Continental airlines. I was loaded down with vintage real to real tapes and audio gear (modern and old). The real to real tapes and some of the audio gear belonged to my grandfather, which I was restoring for the family. I never did get it back and Continental declined my claim. I hope he lands in PIMA Federal Prison, some of the items I will never be able to recover.

Re:Funny That (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 3 years ago | (#36700994)

A few years back I had a suitcase stolen in Florida on Continental airlines. I was loaded down with vintage real to real tapes and audio gear (modern and old). The real to real tapes and some of the audio gear belonged to my grandfather, which I was restoring for the family. I never did get it back and Continental declined my claim. I hope he lands in PIMA Federal Prison, some of the items I will never be able to recover.

When it absolutely must get there, don't take it on the plane. It's not safe anymore. Instead, have it shipped there (using appropriate padding as "tossers" will knock your box around)... of course, this is a real PITA if you're traveling internationally.

Re:Funny That (5, Informative)

todrules (882424) | about 3 years ago | (#36701244)

Actually, if you really want it to get there, buy a starter pistol and pack it in the suitcase. Then, you have to declare that you have a firearm when you check it. Believe me, that suitcase will have tons of security. Nobody will steal anything from there. Also, since it's a starter pistol and not a real pistol, you don't have to worry about the gun laws in the state you are traveling to.

Re:Funny That (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 3 years ago | (#36701632)

Actually, if you really want it to get there, buy a starter pistol and pack it in the suitcase.

Don't try to commit suicide with it, though. It'll get you detention.

Re:Funny That (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701646)

Even an air pistol/rifle can work. They are not allowed to open the case once it has been inspected/verified unloaded under your supervision. (No TSA locks for gun cases.)

Re:Funny That (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 3 years ago | (#36701442)

I would not bring anything on an airplane that I would not be ok with losing. its modern air travel, sadly (not that I've travelled much since the gropers took over).

on the photography forums, people are advised to ship their gear. too risky to bring expensive slr gear on a plane, checked or not.

so, consider the cost of ups/fedex/etc as a new hidden cost of air travel. your person goes one way, your important stuff goes via a DIFFERENT carrier.

Re:Funny That (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | about 3 years ago | (#36701480)

Agreed. My avenue of choice for domestic transport is a bit more expensive but also quite safe: find somebody you trust and just pay them to drive it. One of my relatives tapped me for this a few years back when I was unemployed for $2000, cross-country. It was basically a free roadtrip. (I was ferrying enough cash for a decent house in Mt Vernon region.)

Re:Funny That (1)

Elbereth (58257) | about 3 years ago | (#36701036)

I get this hilarious picture in my head, of someone protesting, "These tapes are real! I need them to restore my grandfather!", as he's carted away by the men in white.

Re:Funny That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701468)

It probably wasn't funny to the poster, but now that you mention it!:-{)! Too bad he forgot they were reel to reel tapes!

What else did he sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36700942)

Maybe he sold a bunch of bombs, too.

If only... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36700958)

They were as good at security as they were at stealing!

Disguise (1)

ravenscar (1662985) | about 3 years ago | (#36700968)

Just disguise your electronics to look like a bomb. That'll ensure they make it safely to their destination. /joke

How many get away with it? (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 years ago | (#36701030)

My luggage gets searched all the time. I'm pretty sure they've never taken anything - at least not anything I've ever missed - from my luggage. But really, if something was taken I wouldn't have any recourse for it. Who would you report it to? How would you prove it was there to begin with? Being as you release your checked bags before you even go through security, and they pass through multiple hands before they even get on to your plane, there is a chain of inaccountability. Even if you did something obscure but unique to identify your property you still wouldn't be able to prove who took it by the time it showed up on the black market.

And of course, if you're like me and you don't live near a hub airport - therefore you need to take connections all the time - you and your luggage go through that many more sets of gates and hands before getting to your destination.

Re:How many get away with it? (5, Interesting)

GNUman (155139) | about 3 years ago | (#36701188)

I once had a Sony PSP and an iPod stolen from my baggage on a Continental Airlines flight going out from Newark Airport (Yes, I should've taken them in my carry on, I had no space left and was overly trusting).

I complained to Continental Airlines and they basically said "Tough luck, we don't go through your baggage, it's the TSA. Take it up with them." They added "We do recommend our passengers to avoid putting any electronics in their baggage".

TSA has a form you can fill to file a complaint. It includes sending the receipts of your stolen objects and witnesses that confirm you did have them in your baggage and witnesses that confirm they were not there when you arrived. Then they supposedly "start an investigation".

I had lost the receipts of my items and being outside the US it was difficult to go to the store and try to get a copy. So I never submitted the papers. I did learn my lesson. Never put electronics in your baggage, it will come up in scans and become an excuse for someone to open it.

Re:How many get away with it? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 3 years ago | (#36701220)

Even if you did something obscure but unique

Hmmm... I suggest exploding dye packs. And when the blue painted guy has you hauled off the plane as a potential terrorist you can have him arrested for attempted theft.

Ok... Its not a perfect plan... but it would at least raise question why my valuable X got more than Y feet from my suitcase.

Re:How many get away with it? (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 3 years ago | (#36701294)

If you're going to use exploding dye packs, you may as well make them lethal, because the guy who detects the "bomb-like" device in your luggage is going to report you.

Over the past six months (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 3 years ago | (#36701080)

Over the past six months, Santiago-Serrano told authorities he stole $50,000 worth of computers,

If he's been confessing for that long, you'd think they'd have stopped him before!

(Sponsored by the grammar police)

Re:Over the past six months (1)

sco08y (615665) | about 3 years ago | (#36701198)

Over the past six months, Santiago-Serrano told authorities he stole $50,000 worth of computers,

If he's been confessing for that long, you'd think they'd have stopped him before!

(Sponsored by the grammar police)

That's not likely; ambiguities are handled by the semantics police.

Re:Over the past six months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701252)

I thought those guys were a subdivision.

Re:Over the past six months (0)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 3 years ago | (#36701300)

You might want to check your English books again.

For the last six months and over the last six months have very different meanings.

The one you criticized was in fact the correct usage.

Re:Over the past six months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701436)

Bzzt... wrong. Nice try. If he had another comma between authorities and he, then the meaning would be correct.

Re:Over the past six months (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701792)

For the last six months and over the last six months have very different meanings

Yes, and what was he doing "over the last six months"?

"[He] told authorities"

Oh!

What about... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#36701138)

How many bombs, IEDs and other dangerous items did he confiscate and sell online?

I'm sure there was a very good reason why he was touching people's luggage.

TSA: taking freedom so terrorists don't have to (5, Funny)

mykos (1627575) | about 3 years ago | (#36701140)

Being molested, xrayed, shown naked on a screen, and robbed is a small price to pay to keep terrorists from taking away my freedom!

Re:TSA: taking freedom so terrorists don't have to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701718)

Being molested, xrayed, shown naked on a screen, and robbed is a small price to pay to keep terrorists from taking away my freedom!

This has been scored "Funny" It should be scored "Insightful"!!!

Re:TSA: taking freedom so terrorists don't have to (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about 3 years ago | (#36701734)

Being molested, xrayed, shown naked on a screen, and robbed is a small price to pay to keep terrorists from taking away my freedom!

And to have your electronics taken away must be a bonus.

Latino disease (0)

c-fivk (2356686) | about 3 years ago | (#36701156)

And I thought that only happened in Argentina...

Did you really figure (2, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#36701174)

Dressing them in a uniform and giving them arrest-authority would suddenly make a poorly educated, under-class person magically transform into an upstanding middle-class person with a passion for doing their job to the best of their abilities?

Re:Did you really figure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701312)

They (the TSA) don't have arrest authority. (The police officer who is present at every checkpoint, though, does).

Re:Did you really figure (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#36701448)

TSA arrest authority derives from 49 USC 44903(d)(2): [gpo.gov]

[The] Secretary of Transportation may authorize an individual who carries out air transportation security duties– (2) to make arrests without warrant for an offense against the United States committed in the presence of the individual or for a felony under the laws of the United States, if the individual reasonably believes the individual to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony.

Re:Did you really figure (1)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#36701336)

Did you really suggest that education and money makes you honest?

Really?

HAVE YOU FUCKING LOOKED AROUND YOU?

--
BMO - Real thieves wear suits.

Re:Did you really figure (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#36701380)

I don't believe you caught the "middle-class" part. Obviously you'll find outliers regardless of where you go on the scales. The media also tends to distort perspectives when it comes to the wealthy, educated, elite. Again outliers, but in this case the natural desire for people to "eat the rich".

Re:Did you really figure (0)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#36701414)

>I don't believe you caught the "middle-class" part

I don't believe that you caught my point.

There are thieves in every class. The book keeper down the street might be embezzling. It happens. There was an infamous case here where such a thing happened and a woman stole nearly a third of every dollar that came in, and spent it on lavish parties and gambling and such.

How about you suck on a cock, you class warrior?

Fuck you.

--
BMO

Re:Did you really figure (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#36701494)

Still missing it... When people speak in generalities they are almost always granting the possibility of outliers though I specifically spelled that out for you. Your example was just such a thing. Your tone and communication skills quite obviously place your class.

Re:Did you really figure (1)

bmo (77928) | about 3 years ago | (#36701536)

You're disgusting.

--
BMO

Consider how well (or poorly) they're paid... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | about 3 years ago | (#36701500)

List of TSA Salary [tsa.gov] I doublt Mr Serrano, or for that matter, any of the pseudo-cop screeners are being paid at band F or above.

Re:Consider how well (or poorly) they're paid... (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#36701544)

D/E [tsa.gov] ($25-44K) for an ordinary TSO. They don't bother listing "Inspector - Dangerous Goods & Cargo". Probably for a reason...

How to avoid the TSA thieves (5, Interesting)

kwiqsilver (585008) | about 3 years ago | (#36701226)

If you must fly, here's what to do:
  • Buy a hard plastic or metal suitcase with locks.
  • Buy a pistol, if you don't have one already. (A starter pistol, which has no legal restrictions on ownership or purchase in any state, works just as well).
  • Put your pistol in the suitcase, check-in at the counter, and tell the airline rep you have a firearm to declare.
  • Fill out the card that says your firearm is unloaded, put it in your suitcase, and lock it (with real locks, not TSA-approved ones), while the airline rep watches.
  • Walk down to the TSA screener with the airline rep, and hand your bag over.
  • The TSA screener will scan your bag while you wait. If there's a need to open it, the screener will have you open it, and will look through the bag while you watch.

It is illegal for them to open your bag without you being present, if you have a firearm declared. (I guess the government doesn't trust the TSA near guns...if only they'd expand that mistrust to all the federal alphabet soup criminals).

I discovered this accidentally, because I usually take at least one pistol whenever I fly anywhere, and have been using it ever since. If I'm going some place anti-gun, like Chicago or CA, I take a firearm component, like a barrel, which still has to be checked the same way, but can't get me into trouble on the trip.

Re:How to avoid the TSA thieves (1)

swb (14022) | about 3 years ago | (#36701310)

Yes! Traveling with a firearm is like getting extra special first class check-in.

I love how they treat you like somebody special; I think in some airports they assume you're a cop.

Re:How to avoid the TSA thieves (4, Informative)

kwiqsilver (585008) | about 3 years ago | (#36701446)

They tend to treat me like I'm crazy. But then, I don't look anything like a cop; I look like a slacker software engineer.

A few years ago at Sea-Tac, I had an Alaska rep tell me I couldn't check in a firearm. We had to call her boss over. Fortunately he was familiar with the form, and knew what to do. And the first rep was very apologetic and friendly after. And the best part is: nobody stole the external HDD out of my suitcase!

I also recommend printing out a copy of the TSA page on flying with firearms [tsa.gov] , in case you get somebody who doesn't have a clue.

Re:How to avoid the TSA thieves (4, Interesting)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 3 years ago | (#36701766)

I also recommend printing out a copy of the TSA page on flying with firearms, in case you get somebody who doesn't have a clue.

Fantastic. I think everyone who flies should carry one round of ammunition in an original package every time they fly. The rule that TSA will inspect the package at the ticket counter will cause a massive breakdown in the TSA system, as all TSA operatives will be up at the ticket counter inspecting one round of ammunition each and nobody will be available to search bags and steal stuff. It will also require a personal escort to the CTX machines so that the passenger doesn't do anything to the now-searched baggage.

Or, the checkin process will get so backed up that nobody will be able to fly anywhere.

Re:How to avoid the TSA thieves (1)

AbrasiveCat (999190) | about 3 years ago | (#36701794)

I am a bit surprised by an Alaska rep in Seattle not knowing how to handle a gun. I know more than a few folk that take theirs to Alaska to hunt, and AB carries a lot of then north.

Re:How to avoid the TSA thieves (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 3 years ago | (#36701656)

It is illegal for them to open your bag without you being present, if you have a firearm declared.

I'm pretty sure it is illegal for them to steal the stuff you have in bag too, yet that doesn't seem to help.

* Yes, yes. It increases their risk significantly and hence they'll pick a different bag.

Re:How to avoid the TSA thieves (4, Informative)

macshit (157376) | about 3 years ago | (#36701684)

When I fly out of Narita, they seem to do the baggage exam before checkin, which seems a much better system.

Baggage is x-rayed upon entering the checkin area, and if they're suspicious, they pull you aside to a table and have you open the suitcase and go through it. The examiner just watches, giving directions as needed (indeed, it's very clear they're under orders not to touch anything), and asks you to explain anything unusual. It works very well, and gives real peace of mind.

In other news (1)

Stargoat (658863) | about 3 years ago | (#36701318)

In other news, the TSA continues to steal your 4th Amendment rights. You know, the certain inalienable rights that millions of us have died for?

Re:In other news (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 3 years ago | (#36701482)

Did you die for something? I must have missed the memo...

Re:In other news (3, Interesting)

bussdriver (620565) | about 3 years ago | (#36701672)

Died of old age?
Millions of americans haven't died for their rights. WW2 and the civil war didn't even come close.

Perhaps you were thinking of the millions America has actually killed to build and maintain its empire? Or the greater numbers of indirect killings? The two recent wars this last decade killed over a million; unsurprisingly, we don't keep count... and with poor records its difficult to prove it all (yet the number proven is still really high and the estimates have been over a million for many years now.)

wait til your guns are stolen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701478)

do a search on how many guns are stolen from checked baggage.

Power Seller (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701522)

Does the TSA have a PowerSeller rating?

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701564)

Did he happen to sell any bombs on ebay? :P

For the children! (1)

lexsird (1208192) | about 3 years ago | (#36701696)

Please, lets not forget we have to protect the children from terrorists. So what is the price of some electronic junk being stolen, or perhaps some discomfort as the TSA searches your body in comparison to the safety of the children. We should thank this thief for he will make people carry less stuff out of fear of being stolen, hence there will be less stuff to search and fewer places to hide a bomb that might hurt the children.

Tequila (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701702)

It's not so much an outrage of the theft of items from baggage, it happens from time to time and sometimes it's the handlers. It's clearly wrong and clearly theft.

What's really interesting is all the stuff being confiscated, like this politician's bottle of tequila [blogspot.com] . OK, he shouldn't have brought it on board the plane, but what's really telling is that they take it and noone knows what happens with it afterwards. Sure they will have plenty of pictures of the cheap stuff getting destroyed. But who's going to miss the small percentage actual good stuff that gets taken home and sold/given/traded with friends or acquaintances?

That Bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36701712)

He also stole my 90 year old Grandmothers adult diaper...

nt (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#36701770)

Quite frankly, I think the TSA itself should be on the hook.

The TSA is supposed to be protecting us, and I consider it at the least grossly negligent for them to allow one of their own to pull off something like this for SIX FUCKING MONTHS without getting caught.

They're supposed to be running background checks on these people, and besides that I wouldn't doubt that his victims have filed plenty of police reports or complaints of some sort, so the powers that be are either completely blind, or are in on it somehow.

6 months of looting the baggage of travelers? Not a fucking accident.

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