When a person loses or forgets to collect his/her personal item(s) at an airport security checkpoint, TSA Agents are supposed to try to locate the owner or set the left behind article for the traveler to return and collect later. Some TSA Agents, however, have chosen other action.
To test TSA Agents’ honesty at ten airports, the ten with the highest theft rates, ABC News intentionally left iPads. Each iPad was clearly labeled with the name and contact information of the owner. Each iPad was valued at approximately $600. Each iPad had GPS tracking software installed and turned on.
Of the ten iPads intentionally left at a security checkpoint, nine were promptly contacted by a TSA Agent and returned to the owner. The tenth iPad, though, was not promptly returned to the owner. That iPad had been left at the Orlando International Airport.
After two weeks without word from TSA regarding the missing iPad, ABC completed a claim form. The iPad was not located.
ABC News then used the GPS tracking software to locate the missing computer. The software reported the iPad about a half hour away from the Orlando International Airport, at the home of Andy Ramirez, a TSA Agent.
When confronted at his home by ABC, Ramirez denied having taken the iPad. ABC News then triggered the installed GPS system’s location alarm. The iPad was inside the home.
Ramirez no longer works as a TSA Agent.
Since 2003, 380 other TSA Agents have been released from employment after allegedly stealing items left behind at airport security checkpoints.