TSA Agent Caught With Passenger’s iPad in His Pants; Allegedly Took $50,000 in Other Goods

From BrowardPalmBeach.com:

While most Transportation Security Administration employees are busy groping people or taking naked pictures of them, the cops say one of those employees was putting fliers’ electronics down his pants.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office says 30-year-old Nelson Santiago stole around $50,000 worth of electronics over the past six months from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s Terminal 1.

Santiago — a TSA officer since 2009 — was caught earlier this week by a Continental Airlines employee taking an iPad out of someone’s luggage and stuffing it into his pants, the cops say.


  1. There’s part of me that would take great satisfaction in having all TSA agents searched in public for stolen items at the end of each shift.

    I’m sure there would be an outcry from the lot of them that only a rare one among them is a thief. And we as travelers can reply that terrorists, too, are quite uncommon.

    Have their bags and purses searched, have pat downs in full view of the rest of the airport, suspect their vehicles are holding our pilfered items until proven otherwise.

    Allow passengers to participate in the screenings. To save money, of course.

    1. As much as the policies may bother you, TSA agents are just people doing a job. Whether they manage to do it respectfully and effectively or not isn’t the issue; the fact is that they’re being paid to do something unpleasant (and TSA screeners have commented in the past about how awful it is for them to have to do some of the things they’re required to do). You need to address the regulations or complain to the people who have some kind of power to change them, not revel in the employees’ discomfort. I’m sure that people who write parking tickets, clean gruesome crime scenes, or have to prosecute cases according to the law rather than their own instincts (think how the Casey Anthony jury feels right now) don’t do it for kicks but because they have to. I somehow doubt that TSA agents do their work because it’s so much fun to frisk smelly, complaining, tired travelers but because like everyone else in the universe, they need a paycheck. I guarantee that if they could return airport screening to its original, relaxed setup without fear of missing safety threats, they would.

      That said, I think TSA screening (at all stages) should be completely monitored both by a supervisor & through video footage. This kind of crime shouldn’t be allowed to happen, but I wouldn’t be any happier knowing all TSA agents were needlessly being made miserable. Besides – imagine the impact that would have on TSA screeners’ attitudes toward travelers. It seems to me that pissing off the people who are already doing a thankless job that involves continual contact with the public isn’t going to be reflected in a better traveling experience for anyone.

      1. Or, we could skip the whole “Security Theater” concept completely. Go read up on Israel’s methods for airport security. They actually know what they are doing.

  2. I find this a little baffling. Are TSA agents really that ill-monitored when checking baggage? If so, why bother doing it at all? It seems like a TSA screening would be the easiest point for a terrorist to either ignore or plant dangerous items in passenger bags if there isn’t some kind of decent surveillance of the TSA employees at work. Bizarre.

    1. Yeah, if they can take stuff out of your luggage, who’s to say they can’t put stuff in it? (which already has “accidentally” occurred, for a “drug search exercise”)

      We should trust that a terrorist can’t get a job with the TSA? Well look at some of the meat bags you’ve already hired…

      Like police, doctors, and teachers, not everybody is hired because they’re the best person for the job (and vice versa) Once in a while somebody gets in that shouldn’t have. Human nature strikes again.

  3. This sort of thing has been going on for a long time in the airline biz. Years ago Baggage handlers in Vegas took the watch my wife gave me for our 30th anniversary. I carelessly forgot I put it in the bag while down there. NWA admitted they had a problem there but refused responsibility.

    That does not make the TSA agent OK, it is just an admission that some people steal & you need systems in place to prevent or catch as much as you can.

    BTW – for less than most airline baggage fees FedEx or UPS will ship your suitcase to your destination overnight & have it waiting for you.

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