It's always the small fry who seems to get caught red-handed. The TSA fired a security screener at a North Carolina airport after his arrest for stealing $36 from a traveler’s suitcase, an amount that pales in comparison to other screeners who have hauled in small fortunes before being detected.
Police in Charlotte said the screener, Reggie Edwards, was caught taking the money from a piece of luggage at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport on Jan. 1, WSOC TV reports
According to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report, the 52-year-old was fired from his job and charged with larceny under $50.
The TSA issued a brief statement to WSOC TV in Charlotte saying the TSA “does not tolerate theft and moved immediately to terminate this individual.”
This is among the smallest of thefts TSA agents have committed while on the job, according to reports. One convicted former agent, Pythias Brown, said that in three years employed as a screener he stole about $800,000 in cash and items. He told ABC News the practice was very commonplace. Once, he said, he walked out of the security checkpoint with a Nintendo Wii in his hands.
In February 2012, a Dallas TSA agent was fired after stealing an undetermined number of iPads from checked baggage. The agent pulled off his jobs while working in the “resolution room” where body scanner images are viewed.
"Allegations of theft are aggressively investigated, and swift and appropriate action is taken. In this particular incident, the employee has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation," a TSA representative told the New York Daily News about the Dallas thefts. "The action of one individual in no way reflects on the outstanding job our more than 50,000 security officers do every day to ensure the security of the traveling public."
Since its inception in 2003, the TSA has fired nearly 400 of its employees for stealing from passengers. However, the TSA notes that number is a half of 1 percent.
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