In response to hundreds of claims by passengers of the thefts of valuable items by agents of the Transportation Security Administration, ABC News in the United States has conducted an undercover video investigation and caught an agent not only in possession of an allegedly stolen a tablet computer, but also lying about it.
Andy Ramirez — who is no longer a part of the Transportation Security Administration workforce, according to an official statement by the Transportation Security Administration agency — initially denied having possession of a missing Apple iPad tablet computer purposely left behind at the airport security checkpoint at Orlando International Airport before finally confessing on camera that he indeed have it in his home where it was tracked by Brian Ross, who is an investigation reporter for ABC News.
Ramirez even blamed his wife for the incident — again, caught on camera:
Some people argue that what ABC News did with their investigation in terms of purposely leaving behind valuable items smacks of entrapment. Do you agree — and even so, do you still believe that the investigation by ABC News was necessary?
Coincidentally, ABC News is a division of the American Broadcasting Company, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company, whose Walt Disney World theme park property is one of the most popular attractions by tourists in the Orlando area of Florida.
FlyerTalk members are not only wondering how many other thefts may have been committed by Ramirez that went undetected, but also wonder why apparently no charges have been brought at this time against Ramirez, citing that if he indeed did abscond with the Apple iPad tablet computer, then he committed a crime.
Worse — according to the Transportation Security Administration agency and reports by FlyerTalk members — the jobs of almost 400 Transportation Security Administration agents have been terminated because of theft in a period of time between 2003 and 2012. I wonder how many thefts were committed in that time period which were not caught.
To be fair, many of the Transportation Security Administration agents with whom I encounter are friendly, greet me politely, treat me fairly, and may even engage in some humor with me. Regardless, I keep an eye on my belongings at all times whenever I pass through an airport security checkpoint, and I personally have never had anything stolen. I also ensure that loose items which are valuable to me — such as cash and keys — are placed in a compartment in my carry-on bag long before I enter the line for the airport security checkpoint so that they cannot easily be removed or taken, as opposed to placing them in an open bowl in front of any Transportation Security Administration agent or fellow passenger who may be tempted to take it at an opportune moment.
While I still disagree with many of the policies implemented by the Transportation Security Administration and believe some of them infringe upon the rights of passengers, a few simple precautions such as the ones I stated help me to get through airport security checkpoints with no problems or issues most of the time and — as I said — I have never had an item of mine stolen at an airport security checkpoint in all of the years in which I have been traveling.