A convicted TSA agent who stole close to $1 million worth of passenger possessions claims such theft was a very common occurrence around the airport. Pythias Brown noted that many of the items stole were pilfered from carry-on bags which must pass through TSA screeners. While unsuspecting airport patrons were making their way through checkpoints and metal detectors designed to keep them safe, their belongings were allegedly being viewed as merely that day’s bounty.
Brown was fired for stealing from passenger luggage, he spent three years in jail for a practice which he referred to as commonplace, according to the New York Daily News. Brown stole more than $800,000 worth of electronics and cash over a four year period. He was finally nabbed by law enforcement officers when he attempted to sell a stolen CNN camera online.
The convicted TSA agent had this to say to ABC News about theft from passengers:
“It became so easy, I got complacent. I was so easy. One day I walked out of there with the video game, the Nintendo Wii. I walked right out of the checkpoint with the Nintendo Wii in my hand.”
According to the interview with the former airport security worker, many TSA agents were able to justify their deceitful actions because they believed they were being treated poorly on not being paid enough. Approximately 400 TSA employees have been fired for stealing since 2003. If Brown’s allegations are accurate, the firings may just be the tip of the iceberg.
TSA mangers allegedly did not search the employees or the bags they carried out of the airport, the Daily Mail reports.