The Miami-Dade Police Department set up hidden cameras inside the Miami International Airport after a rash of reported luggage thefts. Upon viewing the footage, they discovered something shocking. Airport employees can be seen going through passengers’ luggage, stealing valuable items before loading the baggage onto the airplane.
CNN reports that baggage handlers can be seen going on shopping sprees as they pilfer through the luggage. The Miami-Dade Police Department says that they will continue to crack down on luggage theft until they see a drop in cases.
“It’s a problem we all face. We will continue to be proactive until we can see that the claims of pilfering through luggage will actually decrease.”
Sadly, statistics show that luggage theft is rampant and not just exclusive to Miami International. In fact, a CNN analyst reports that approximately $2.5 million worth of goods have been reported stolen over the course of four years.
“A CNN analysis of passenger property loss claims filed with the TSA from 2010 to 2014 shows 30,621 claims of missing valuables, mostly packed in checked luggage. The rest occurred at security checkpoints. Total property loss claimed: $2.5 million.”
An earlier investigative report indicates that through aggressive police work, luggage theft in Los Angeles was cut by 60 percent in two terminals. Along with airports, the TSA is also cracking down on theft issues within their departments.
“Since 2002, the agency [TSA] has fired 513 officers for theft. It employs about 50,000 officers today, and last year screened more than 443 million checked bags and nearly 1.7 billion carry-ons.”
Orlando and Miami airports have attempted to reduce the number of thefts by employees by requiring all employees go through a metal detector upon exiting their posts. However, this hasn’t stopped all thefts, as is evident by the video footage above.
What do you think airports should do to ensure passengers’ luggage is safe? What screening processes should airport employees undergo to reduce the likelihood of theft?