Oh yeah, this is some great television: ABC News did an investigative report wherein reporters "accidentally" left behind iPads at ten major airports with a history of theft by government screeners. And they got some poor slob to take the bait: Security camera footage shows TSA screener Andy Ramirez with the iPad after it had gone through the screening process at Orlando airport. Using a tracking device in the gadget, ABC confronted Ramirez at his home, where he proceeded to blame his wife.
First Ramirez denied knowing anything about any stupid iPad, but then ABC set off an audio alarm feature in the iPad, and it could be heard beeping inside his home. At that point, Ramirez had no choice but to admit the iPad was in his possession, but he blamed it on his wife. "I'm so embarrassed," Ramirez told ABC News. "My wife says she got the iPad and brought it home." He then shut the door. And then he got fired. Eat your heart out, Arnold Diaz.
381 TSA officers have been fired for stealing since 2003, 11 of them this year. ABC's investigation turned up "case after case" of TSA theft, and one former TSA screener—who did three years in prison for airport theft—tells the network no one is checked for stolen goods. "I played in with the rest of them with 'I don't care' and 'they're not paying us right.'... It was so easy one day I walked out with a Nintendo Wii in my hand. Nobody said a word."
"This is the tip of the iceberg," said Rep. John Mica, R.-Florida, chair of the House Transportation Committee says. "It is an outrage to the public, and actually to our aviation system." Rep. Mica wants the Government Accountability Office to do a full investigation of TSA's theft problems. In its statement, the TSA said it "holds its employees to the highest ethical standards."