TSA Screeners Caught On Camera Stealing From Passengers At Security Checkpoint

Three TSA agents were arrested a few months ago for stealing money and other belongings from passengers as they went through the checkpoint. Here’s the thing: there’s video footage of airport security checkpoints. So now video is out showing some of the thefts at the Miami E concourse checkpoint.

Here, one screener reaches in and grabs a passenger wallet to take cash from it back on June 29. In total there’s more than 20 minutes of video showing three screeners pilfering from passengers.

[I[n a clip partially labeled “$800″ an agent is seen fiddling with a small bag and appears to pull out a wallet.

He stays with that bin down the conveyer belt until he pushes it through, before putting his hand his pocket.

TSA theft is nothing new. A screener who stole a CNN camera and sold it on eBay was only caught because he forgot to take the ‘CNN’ stickers off of it. Tens of thousands have been accused of misconduct, about half multiple times.

What these TSA employees missed was that the correct way to steal from passengers at the airport is to be actual law enforcement and called it “civil forfeiture.”

As they say, a few bad apples who in no way undermine the hard work that thousands of men and women at the TSA do to keep us safe, day in and day out.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It’s the federal government. They will be promoted next month. I assume every TSA agent and baggage handler is looking to steal from me. And act accordingly. I bury my travel money deep in my backpack where they will have to disassemble it to get to it in security.

  2. Gary: “What these TSA employees missed was that the correct way to steal from passengers at the airport is to be actual law enforcement and called it “civil forfeiture.”

    Heh, heh, heh… But sadly, true.

  3. Do people really stick a wallet or other valuables directly into one of those bins? I always put anything of value inside a zipped up compartment in my carry on. If I have to open it to show them something at least I’m watching.

  4. Idiots, didn’t they think that people would immediately realize what happened and report it? Sure there would be no direct evidence (until the videos were seen) but it wouldn’t take much to establish a pattern and associate it with who is on duty.

  5. And so it goes…

    The very fact that passengers are required to empty their pockets of all cash/credit and debit cards/passports, etc, is in and of itself absurd. None of these belongings are in any way, shape, or form threats to anything. Simply another temptation for people with criminal tendencies.

  6. would have been nice if the article had included MIA in the text or title instead of having to watch the video.

    NEVER send the bin with your wallet or laptop through the x-ray machine before you go through.
    And put your wallet and phone in your belongings BEFORE you get to security, not loose in the bin.

    MIA or any other city

  7. Thanks for reconfirming that the few seconds I spend locking everything in my bag before it goes through the scanner are time well spent.

  8. @ Gary – Yeah, like with certain other federal and GA employees, felonies are AOK with 40% of Americans!

  9. Let me look for the nearest fainting couch… the realization that people who earn barely above minimum wage might be tempted by the 1000s of wallets passing them daily on a conveyor is just too much for me to take.

    There’s two types of money, the money you hide and the money other people try to take. Not exclusive to individuals as governments certainly eye every way legal or otherwise to snatch some cash. Forfeiture is just one avenue.

    Not that I’m complaining. I appreciate all government services and employees. I hope their powers grow exponentially and trust that they will find better uses for my money than the silly things I intended.

  10. All of TSA is responsible for the actions of their worst employees. Anyone who doesn’t like being designated that way should quit and hire on to a company that requires better accountability from their employees. These employees are in a trust position. They should be fired, prosecuted and jailed. Their supervisors should be at a minimum, demoted. Action should be take against the second level supervisors, too.

  11. The proper punishment for the crime would be to cut off their hand so that they could never do it again.

  12. The TSA, a worthless agency that adds no value, costs taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money and then they steal from their “customers”. It’s a trifecta!

  13. Went through security in Miami last week – early morning Sept. 8. I put my wallet in the bin and it came out the other side and didn’t think much about it until the next time I took some cash out of my wallet later that day. I can’t say that I knew precisely how much money was in there, but I was a bit surprised because I thought I had more and briefly wondered if something might have happened when I left my wallet in the bin at the checkpoint earlier that day. The TSA-Pre line I was in was against a wall with nobody able to see them working behind the machines except the cameras.

    So this makes me go “hmmm.” Could be that I was simply under a misimpression about how much money was in my wallet, but now I see it’s not impossible that somebody at TSA took the opportunity to take some bills out of my wallet.

  14. This happened to my partner in DEL, last year. Sad to think that MIA, etc. continue such 3d world corrupt behavior by airport security. I think that the best recommendation is to limit checked valuables to insurance limits, and be super cautious with carry-on. The carry-on valuables are hard to monitor through TSA security, because it disappears into a dark tunnel, and while I continually eyeball the reappearance of my carry-on on the other side of the big mysterious machine, half the time I am subject to secondary screening, due to medical implants setting off the metal detector or super-hard body parts setting off the other imaging machine. So, I can reduce the risk, but I don’t know. So tired of prison warden Kabuki theatre by US TSA. Civil forfeiture is another footnote, to be expanded in another post.

  15. Ridiculous. At $950 per theft, that will add up rather quickly. A shame that our society accepts this behavior so naturally.

  16. Thanks to the commenters that suggested putting wallets inside carryons. I’ve done it from time to time, but ignorantly hadn’t worried that much about theft until reading this article. Now that some credit cards are made out of metal, you can’t walk through screening with your wallet in your pocket. And sometimes, they insist that you take everything out of your pockets, which might depend on the type of screener being used. It would be great if they could come up with a system that scans you and your belongings as you walk though it, without a need to put anything in a bin (provided it doesn’t harm you with x-rays or anything else hazardous). Until that day comes, perhaps they could skip screening for pre-vetted passengers, such as those that have Global Entry.

  17. TSA people are legit rudest and power tripping people you ever have to deal with. If it wasn’t for the badges and uniform you’d think you were ordering at a mcdonolds.

  18. *TSA is a makework program where people who would be otherwise unemployable get what is essentially a welfare benefit for pantomiming a “job” that violates civil liberties and has been repeatedly proven to be beyond incompetent and providing any kind of safety function. People who claim not to understand this in 2023 are either stupid enough to work for the TSA or shilling for some other reason.

    *Everyone who touches baggage at an airport steals. EVERYONE. It is entirely understood that this is a perk of the job and that you are playing the lottery by going through the airport. Whether it’s the airline-employed baggage handlers or the TSA they understand that anyone who is capable of getting a better job would have one and they can either reimburse every 10,000th passenger for missing items or pay a billion dollars more per year to attract better employees. People who claim not to understand this in 2023 are either stupid enough to work for the TSA or shilling for some other reason.

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