Yet more TSA theft, can anyone help!!!!

Old Dec 2, 05, 3:22 pm
  #1  
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Unhappy Yet more TSA theft, can anyone help!!!!

Hi all, new here, but noticed some TSA employees are on here,
Desperate for some kind of assistance seeing as e-mailing the TSA directly is either ignored or met with a standard issue e-mail which offers no help whatsoever.

Ok the story goes....

I'm from the UK and am spending some time over in the US on business.
Recently i flew from Seattle to Manchester England, Via Chicago.
There were several delays which resulted in me being stuck in chicago for 24 hours.
Upon returning home i discovered my laptop had been stolen from my hold bag.
In it's place was a nice TSA notice of inspection.
I have contacted both airports lost and found's with no success.
I'm currently working on a claim with the TSA but have hit several stumbling blocks, none of which the TSA seem prepared to help me with.

Firstly the claim form explicitly states that a single Time and Location must be
given,
As i did not have any access to my hold bag for over 30 hours, determining specifics is impossible.
Also i notice that after your claim is accepted you must provide a social security number, which as a UK resident i do not have!

The theft seems to be more than a simple opportunity grab as the powerpack, which was in a seperate compartment the the laptop has also been taken, not only that but the UK power cord attached to the power pack has been unplugged and placed back in the bag, this seems to indicate that whoever committed the theft had time and space to examine the contents.

Can anyone on this forum offer any advice?
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Old Dec 2, 05, 3:26 pm
  #2  
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Not to seem unsympathetic, but WHY would you check a laptop? They don't pay if they damage it, and many may not even pay if they lose it. I don't think that you can prove that the TSA took it, as baggage handlers and such possibly had access as well.

I'd file a claim with your insurance (homeowner/renters), that's the only shot I think you'd have.

Originally Posted by dedindahed
Hi all, new here, but noticed some TSA employees are on here,
Desperate for some kind of assistance seeing as e-mailing the TSA directly is either ignored or met with a standard issue e-mail which offers no help whatsoever.

Ok the story goes....

I'm from the UK and am spending some time over in the US on business.
Recently i flew from Seattle to Manchester England, Via Chicago.
There were several delays which resulted in me being stuck in chicago for 24 hours.
Upon returning home i discovered my laptop had been stolen from my hold bag.
In it's place was a nice TSA notice of inspection.
I have contacted both airports lost and found's with no success.
I'm currently working on a claim with the TSA but have hit several stumbling blocks, none of which the TSA seem prepared to help me with.

Firstly the claim form explicitly states that a single Time and Location must be
given,
As i did not have any access to my hold bag for over 30 hours, determining specifics is impossible.
Also i notice that after your claim is accepted you must provide a social security number, which as a UK resident i do not have!

The theft seems to be more than a simple opportunity grab as the powerpack, which was in a seperate compartment the the laptop has also been taken, not only that but the UK power cord attached to the power pack has been unplugged and placed back in the bag, this seems to indicate that whoever committed the theft had time and space to examine the contents.

Can anyone on this forum offer any advice?
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Old Dec 2, 05, 3:43 pm
  #3  
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I'm sorry to hear about your loss, but please, never ever ever put anything of value in checked bags. Checked luggage is strictly for clothes and other items you don't care about losing.

Baggage theft (by handlers and others) is rampant throughout the world, plus there is always a risk of damage. All electronics, valuables, medication, etc., should only be carried with you.

It's not much help for what happened now, but I second the suggestion for going the insurance route. Neither the airline or TSA will be interested in hearing about lost valuables in checked luggage....they will just state those items shouldn't have been in there
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Old Dec 2, 05, 8:16 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by dedindahed
Hi all, new here, but noticed some TSA employees are on here,
Desperate for some kind of assistance seeing as e-mailing the TSA directly is either ignored or met with a standard issue e-mail which offers no help whatsoever.

Ok the story goes....

I'm from the UK and am spending some time over in the US on business.
Recently i flew from Seattle to Manchester England, Via Chicago.
There were several delays which resulted in me being stuck in chicago for 24 hours.
Upon returning home i discovered my laptop had been stolen from my hold bag.
In it's place was a nice TSA notice of inspection.
I have contacted both airports lost and found's with no success.
I'm currently working on a claim with the TSA but have hit several stumbling blocks, none of which the TSA seem prepared to help me with.

Firstly the claim form explicitly states that a single Time and Location must be
given,
As i did not have any access to my hold bag for over 30 hours, determining specifics is impossible.
Also i notice that after your claim is accepted you must provide a social security number, which as a UK resident i do not have!

The theft seems to be more than a simple opportunity grab as the powerpack, which was in a seperate compartment the the laptop has also been taken, not only that but the UK power cord attached to the power pack has been unplugged and placed back in the bag, this seems to indicate that whoever committed the theft had time and space to examine the contents.

Can anyone on this forum offer any advice?
I know this isn't going to help, but once your bag was checked in Seattle, the TSA wouldn't screen the bag again, because you didn't have access to it in between. While you were delayed, the airline had control of your bag. If the TSA employee that checked your bag put a notice in there that he was indeed in there, I doubt their the thief, and thats not because I'm TSA. It just makes sense that if your going to steal something, you don't leave a note. Also, I know here we don't have many flights that leave during the night, so the baggage area where bags are held is pretty deserted. Our baggage screeners leave after the last scheduled departing flight of the night. The airline employees are the only ones with access to that area after that. I'm sorry this happened, but I would bet on an airline employee.
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Old Dec 2, 05, 11:20 pm
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Im with bambi...

Airline personell still are in the baggage area after TSA locks up and closes out their stations for the night.
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Old Dec 2, 05, 11:30 pm
  #6  
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I'm dumbfounded. I would never check any article the loss or damage of which is expressly disclaimed by every major airline. Check the Conditions of Carriage of AA and UA (assuming the OP flew one of those, given the routing) - neither airline will cover any damage or loss to a laptop in a checked bag. I suspect that no airline in the world would cover such loss.

Earlier this week, a different new poster related the theft of his $1,300 digital camera and lens from a checked bag on AA in the AA forum.

Was there an article in the news lately painting Flyertalk as a "I checked a valuable article and it disappeard from my checked bag and I'm wondering what my options are?" kind of website?
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Old Dec 3, 05, 8:37 am
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I am sorry for your loss, there are several things that are of interest to me. One is the fact that the notice of inspection was in your bag. This is pretty much like a burglar leaving their wallet at the scene of a crime. This also gives other people like bag handlers the chance to steal and leave the blame on TSA. As far as where to list the location, List the first one that you boarded the plane at. The SSN request can be left blank. When they see that your address is UK then they will know.
In the future, dont pack anything that is electronic in the checked baggage. If it is still there at your destination, chances are good that it wont work.
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Old Dec 3, 05, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by eyecue
If it is still there at your destination, chances are good that it wont work.
While I think it's utterly ridiculous that TSA likes to inspect bags routinely without the owner present, eyecue has a point. Anyway, OP is a business traveler and should know better. :rolleye:

- Pat
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Old Dec 3, 05, 9:47 am
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Welcome to FT and sorry that your first post is about a loss.

Sorry, but I am with the rest of the posters so far. With your bags out of your control for so long, and with so many different people having had a "chance at them" I don't see how you could blame the TSA for the loss.

I also agree about putting valuables in checked luggage. Sometimes I have to do this due to carry on limitations and the amount of gear I occaisionally must have with me. For those times, I have a foam lined heavy shell suitcase to use. Of equal importance, I insure the contents against all hazards including theft. Otherwise I would FEDEX, but that = $$$$.
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Old Dec 3, 05, 9:54 am
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:( Sorry to hear

It is very frustrating that this is happening. If you think that only expensice items are taken. Don't be too sure. My last trip to Singapore, I had a new manicure set ( present ) stolen. I saw the inspection at the airport.Didn't think anything would be taken when there were so many people around. No slip was placed in my bag to inform me that my bag was opened even tho I saw with my own eyes from a distance the inspector going thru' my stuff. But when I go tto Singapore, the manicure set was gone. Too minor to lauch a report. Not worth my effort. And on my trip before that, I had nice socks stolen. While the items I lost were minor and inexpensive, I felt violated. Do not put anything you do not want to loose in your check-in bag. A friend of mine got his whole set of presentation tools stolen - laptop, projector and stuff. I feel your pain. Just not sure what else you can do about it. Frustating I know.
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Old Dec 3, 05, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by dedindahed
Hi all, new here, but noticed some TSA employees are on here,
Desperate for some kind of assistance seeing as e-mailing the TSA directly is either ignored or met with a standard issue e-mail which offers no help whatsoever.

Ok the story goes....

I'm from the UK and am spending some time over in the US on business.
Recently i flew from Seattle to Manchester England, Via Chicago.
There were several delays which resulted in me being stuck in chicago for 24 hours.
Upon returning home i discovered my laptop had been stolen from my hold bag.
In it's place was a nice TSA notice of inspection.
I have contacted both airports lost and found's with no success.
I'm currently working on a claim with the TSA but have hit several stumbling blocks, none of which the TSA seem prepared to help me with.

Firstly the claim form explicitly states that a single Time and Location must be
given,
As i did not have any access to my hold bag for over 30 hours, determining specifics is impossible.
Also i notice that after your claim is accepted you must provide a social security number, which as a UK resident i do not have!

The theft seems to be more than a simple opportunity grab as the powerpack, which was in a seperate compartment the the laptop has also been taken, not only that but the UK power cord attached to the power pack has been unplugged and placed back in the bag, this seems to indicate that whoever committed the theft had time and space to examine the contents.

Can anyone on this forum offer any advice?
I would also start by contacting the Chicago O'Hare Airport police and request to file a report. The SN of the item would help also.

You are probably not an isolated incident and depending on how many thefts, the dollar amount of the items stolen, etc., the Chicago Police may already have and active investigation going.

I would recommend that anyone that has something stolen and they believe that it was by a TSA employee, not only to contact the TSA but to also contact the local Police Department and keep the PD informed of what the outcome was.
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Old Dec 4, 05, 9:16 am
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Yeah, I submitted and was paid for one claim with the TSA. One of the questions on there is why do you think the TSA was at fault.

Given this case I would have a very hard time answering that question--this looks far more like normal luggage theft than TSA
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Old Dec 4, 05, 9:25 am
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I would say that Laptops on checked bags have very high chances of not making it to the next destination, especially when your bag is on hold for 24 hours. Who said it was TSA - in 24 hours your bag goes through so many hands and carts so there are so many opportunities for any baggage handler to take it out. I would say it would be pretty stupid for a TSA agent to take the laptop out and put the note inside.

When TSA inspect your bag, they sometime seal it with a plastic ribbon - was the bag sealed when you got it?
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Old Dec 4, 05, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel
Yeah, I submitted and was paid for one claim with the TSA. One of the questions on there is why do you think the TSA was at fault.

Given this case I would have a very hard time answering that question--this looks far more like normal luggage theft than TSA
Look at it from the other way around.

If there was a knife found in your carry-on bag, do you really think the TSAer is going to care? It's your bag, you put it through the x-ray, but someone else put the knife in the bag. All the evidence points to you.

That's almost not a fair comparison. But when the TSA puts a notice of inspection in there, that's evidence that they opened up the bag. In a criminal case, that's called "opportunity."

Does this mean that baggage handlers couldn't have taken it? No, of course not. But since the TSA wants to keep everything, even an airline's operations, under their precious SSI guise, you aren't able to demonstrate how the airline folks could have taken it.

That leaflet isn't absolute proof that a TSA took it, but it is tangible proof that someone at the TSA opened up the bag (again, "opportunity"). Short of a sworn statement from an eyewitness, you can't prove an airline baggage handler took it.

The evidence points at the TSA. Do the right thing.

Last edited by LessO2; Dec 4, 05 at 9:49 am Reason: clarity
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Old Dec 4, 05, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by LessO2
Look at it from the other way around.

If there was a knife found in your carry-on bag, do you really think the TSAer is going to care? It's your bag, you put it through the x-ray, but someone else put the knife in the bag. All the evidence points to you.

That's almost not a fair comparison. But when the TSA puts a notice of inspection in there, that's evidence that they opened up the bag. In a criminal case, that's called "opportunity."

Does this mean that baggage handlers couldn't have taken it? No, of course not. But since the TSA wants to keep everything, even an airline's operations, under their precious SSI guise, you aren't able to demonstrate how the airline folks could have taken it.

That leaflet isn't absolute proof that a TSA took it, but it is tangible proof that someone at the TSA opened up the bag (again, "opportunity"). Short of a sworn statement from an eyewitness, you can't prove an airline baggage handler took it.

The evidence points at the TSA. Do the right thing.

Huge differences in your examples. How many people handle your bags before the TSA examines them? How many would want to place anything in your bag vs. take something out?

I can't agree that the evidence points at the TSA. And even if it did, evidence pointing in a direction is not proof.
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