Monday, June 27, 2011

TSA and thefts from luggage at LAX: How common is this?

From the
In the last two months, two U.S. Transportation Security Administration officers have been arrested on suspicion of stealing from passenger luggage at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) -- incidents that leave me worrying about how often such theft happens. Judging from official statistics, it seems rare -- or maybe the culprits just don't get caught very often.

On Thursday, TSA officer Paul Yashou, 37, was arrested on suspicion of taking $30,000 worth of items from suitcases at the airport, according to this Daily Breeze story, which also said that a police search of Yashou's home turned up 'numerous items belonging to LAX passengers.'

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said Yashou worked at Terminal 1, where the baggage screening area is in a very public lobby area near ticketing counters. (Side note: Having flown out of Terminal 1 many times, I wonder how the alleged pilfering could took place out of view of other TSA staffers or even passers-by. Melendez said he didn't know either.)

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