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Theft on the security belt

Theft on the security belt

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Old Nov 4, 16, 2:41 pm
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Theft on the security belt

How prevalent is it?

http://abc7.com/entertainment/ktla-a...e-say/1586202/

I have disdain for this woman, she carried property that was not hers to the plane and now claims she was going to return it. If that was the case why not head to lost and found? Why not turn it in to the officer right at the belt?

I have heard of this scam, where you put your stuff on the belt... they work in pairs - one scammer has already cleared the scanner and is waiting on the other side of the belt while the scammer in front of you tries to delay you by purposefully triggering off the security alarm. The delay allows your items to run through the x-ray and come out of the other side where the other guy takes your stuff and vanishes before you make it out to the other side.

Has never happened to me, I eye my stuff like a hawk, but I admit that it's sometimes difficult due to obstructions etc. The need to take out the laptop and put it in it's own case exacerbates this situation - prime opportunity for someone to just palm it off quickly.
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Old Nov 5, 16, 11:02 pm
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I never walk through until I confirm my bags are in the machine. I also always keep an eye on it when it comes out on the exit side.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
I never walk through until I confirm my bags are in the machine. I also always keep an eye on it when it comes out on the exit side.
You may have misunderstood what's going on here. The problem with this scam is not that you wait by choice. It's that you're forced to wait by one of the scammers after your stuff goes into the machine, until it comes out the other side and his/her accomplice has made off with it. Your waiting until your stuff is in the machine will, if anything, help them by delaying your arrival without the need for them to stall you. To foil them, you have to get through the scanner before - not after - your stuff comes out the other side.

Keeping an eye on your stuff as it comes out may help, if you can scream loud enough that someone already on that side (perhaps a TSA staffer or their equivalent outside the US) will go after the thief. Unfortunately, by the time anyone hears you, responds, and tries to find the culprit, he or she will be long gone.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 8:35 am
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Although I don't enter the security gear until my bag has entered the scanner, I really can't imagine this is much of a threat. The risk to the thief is so great, and the potential reward so low that only a particularly stupid criminal would attempt it. There's always a chance I could be a victim before their inevitable capture, though, so I still keep an eye on my stuff.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 8:43 am
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Thinking you are too clever for something to get stolen from your belongings on the belt, whether by TSO or pax, is just as dangerous as thinking you'll be the first person to be clever enough to out-fox a professional pick-pocket.

My carry-ons are always locked at the checkpoint. Fortunately, I don't travel with a laptop. Someone could grab my entire bag, but they won't be able to dip a hand in and grab my wallet while I'm distracted or held up.

Good luck thinking you could yell and everyone will help you chase the thief. What they'll actually do is immediately swarm and surround you and tell you to calm down, calm down. I thought my bag was gone once. I got delayed going through the scanner, and by the time I was through, my first bag was sitting unattended at the end of the belt. A steady stream of bags was coming through, but my second bag was nowhere to be seen. I started saying 'My bag - my bag. Where is my bag? It looks like someone has stolen my bag!'

I was immediately surrounded (so I couldn't see anything), told repeatedly to calm down. Meanwhile, bags keep streaming off the belt and mine is nowhere to be seen.

It turns out my bag was pulled for a check before I cleared the scanner, and returned to the crammed belt for a second xray pass - all without anyone telling me. Hardly surprising that I thought the bag had been stolen. What I recall most vividly is that TSA's first response was to surround and isolate and interrogate me, not to address the issue of a missing rollaboard.

Last edited by chollie; Nov 6, 16 at 8:51 am
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Old Nov 6, 16, 9:08 am
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Anything you carry is always at risk anywhere you are in the vicinity of other people. Skilled thieves can cut a wallet out of your pocket without you noticing, slip open a bag while you pay for a newspaper and so on.

Focusing on checkpoints rather than valuable property subject to theft and misuse is folly.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 8:03 pm
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What I would suggest is putting your laptop etc. in a bag that is easily distinguishable, that is what I do... I never use generic looking luggage, even for my checked in luggage I always try to put stickers and stuff on it to make it different.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 9:17 pm
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Originally Posted by k374 View Post
The Real Hustle: The Laptop Scam - YouTube

What I would suggest is putting your laptop etc. in a bag that is easily distinguishable, that is what I do... I never use generic looking luggage, even for my checked in luggage I always try to put stickers and stuff on it to make it different.
Yup, everything we take has big red id tags and our checked stuff has colored strapping also. They're obvious on the carousel.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 12:11 pm
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When I traveled in India on a domestic flight recently, the system went this way: When you place a laptop (or jacket etc) in a plastic tray, there are two large cards with matching numbers on them. You take one, the other stays on the tray. When you have passed through, you give your card to the guard there, he gives you the matching tray.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 12:22 pm
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that's a simple yet elegant approach
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Old Nov 7, 16, 1:13 pm
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I've heard about this scam before, but it just seems high-risk and low-reward. In the linked news article, I'm not sure what to actually believe...but it wasn't the orchestrated scam we're talking about here.
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Old Nov 7, 16, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by pgiyer View Post
When I traveled in India on a domestic flight recently, the system went this way: When you place a laptop (or jacket etc) in a plastic tray, there are two large cards with matching numbers on them. You take one, the other stays on the tray. When you have passed through, you give your card to the guard there, he gives you the matching tray.
Excellent idea!

It's just that would take a person that would have to be paid. The airlines don't accept responsibility, why should they pay to deal with it?
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Old Nov 8, 16, 10:20 pm
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I'd suggest paying the $100 to get the global entry (good for 5 years). That way, you can breeze through security when traveling domestic. This will cut the risk significantly.
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Old Nov 9, 16, 1:46 am
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I wait until the person in front of me has cleared the scanner before I go through.

My bag has huge Lego ID tags on it so it stands out already. I'm always very cautious when going through the scanner for fear of this theft point.
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Old Nov 9, 16, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by aragno View Post
I wait until the person in front of me has cleared the scanner before I go through...
You have no choice in that matter. They will not let you enter the scanner until the person in front of you has cleared it.
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