Feds probe luggage thefts at Phila. airport

April 2, 2009 3:54:21 PM PDT
Authorities are questioning a TSA worker about items stolen from checked luggage.

And they say a second worker has been been relieved of his duties pending an investigation.

According to American Airlines, the Transportation Security Adminstration workers allegedly targeted expensive electronic items as they passed through a checked luggage scanner at Philadelphia International Airport.

It is alleged that one worker was seen taking several laptops. Other expensive electronics were later discovered near that employee's work space. The man was taken into custody by police and turned over to federal authorities.

The TSA said in a statement that the agency "is investigating a transportation security officer at Philadelphia International Airport for alleged theft. The individual is not currently performing transportation security duties."

The incident comes on the heels of the arrest of Christopher Shaw, an American Airlines baggage supervisor who allegedly stole expensive new clothes out of checked luggage and tried to return the clothing for cash at Nordstrom in King of Prussia.

Many travelers we spoke with today said they are surprised anyone would put valuables inside checked baggage.

Most told us lost luggage was more common than something missing from their luggage.

Still, Chris McDonough of St. Louis told us, "I've had a few things go missing, so I don't put anything in that valuable. I don't take any chances."

Dan Griffith learned the hard way not to put valuables in his check bags. In his case, it was jewelry.

"We actually checked it before we left," said Griffith. "And when we got home, there was something in there saying that TSA had looked at the bag, but the jewelry was gone."

The bottom line: "Don't put anything of value that's going in checked luggage," said Sue Barrowes of Dallas, Texas. "Because you never know who's going to check through it, you don't know what's going to happen to it. So if you really value it, you need to take it on."

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