TSA's Luggage Looters Booted From MIA - NBC New York

TSA's Luggage Looters Booted From MIA

Electronics, perfume, purse stolen from airport by TSA workers



    TSA's Luggage Looters Booted From MIA
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    TSA workers at Miami International Airport have been pocketing passengers' belongings.

    A handful of TSA workers at Miami International Airport turned their security positions into a ticket to plunder passengers' belongings.

    As many as six TSA workers have been given the boot from their airport jobs after and internal sting found workers swiping jewelry, perfume and a number of electronics including computers from luggage.

    Former TSA worker Tony Defelin was arrested several days ago, charged with grand theft after he confessed to police that he was stealing from passengers.

    And then yesterday the TSA said another two men and four women were let go after they returned a laundry list of items that may have belonged to passengers, including an iPod, bottles of perfume, cameras, a GPS system, a Coach purse and a Hewlett Packard Mini Notebook.

    The news had travelers at MIA slightly apprehensive about checking their bags.

    "Obviously, you know, you trust airport security enough to not have those kinds of issues, to be traveling and have your luggage stolen," said passenger Jan Vlastuin.

    "I hope there are measures that will be taken to fight that," said Mathilde Prin.  

    An earlier NBC investigation revealed TSA data showing passengers claiming as many as 1500 items being reported stolen while traveling though MIA with police unable to locate the majority of belongings.

    In a statement, the TSA said it has a zero tolerance policy toward theft and it moves swiftly to end the careers of and prosecute anyone who violates the public's trust. Anyone suspected of theft is removed from screening duties and thoroughly investigated, they said.