Here are two more reasons you should never check valuables in your luggage when you’re flying: Michael Pujol and his wife, Betsy Pujol Salazar.
The couple was arrested last week and charged with grand theft. Investigators say Pujol, a TSA agent at Miami International Airport, stuffed items from passengers’ luggage inside a hidden pocket in his work jacket.
The Pujols were caught after a missing iPad was traced to them through a Craigslist transaction. Pujol Salazar admitted that she and her husband had taken items stolen from luggage and sold them online for the last three years.
Back in 2008, when I started reporting about TSA’s little crime epidemic, the agency strongly denounced the actions of its thieving agents, insisting it had “zero tolerance” for their actions.
The thefts “in no way represent the overwhelming majority of hard working officers in airports around the country,” the agency declared on its blog.
Since then, I’ve wondered: What does TSA mean by “zero tolerance”?
I think actions speak louder than words.
Just a few days ago, a screener at LaGuardia Airport was arrested for allegedly swiping a pricey laptop from a college student at a screening area. TSA employee Edwin Rosario, 27, was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property for taking a $1,300 computer a passenger had left behind.
A few weeks before, the TSA was accused of taking money out of a Florida couple’s luggage. No arrests have been made yet, and the agency refuses to release security camera footage that could implicate the thief because of “security” concerns. The agency also told the passengers that its screeners “never steal.”
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