TSA Screeners Caught Stealing At Miami Airport

TSA Screeners Caught Stealing At Miami Airport

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While this case goes back a few months, video surveillance has just been made public showing the theft…

TSA agents steal from passengers at security checkpoint

This incident dates back to June 29, 2023, and happened at Miami International Airport (MIA) at the Concourse E security checkpoint. A group of three former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents have been charged with an organized scheme to defraud in connection to their behavior.

What’s most interesting is seeing the video surveillance of how they committed this theft. This theft was done at one of the checkpoints with the new x-ray machines that require you to place all your items in a bin, and then the items on the belt moves automatically.

With these machines, people often step away from their bags while they’re in the “queue” to go through the full body scanner or metal detector, and that’s something that these sneaky TSA agents took advantage of. In the video clip below, you can see two separate thefts:

  • In one case, an agent fiddled with a small bag and then seemed to pull out a wallet, while leaving it in the bin; he then stayed with the bin down the conveyor belt, but eventually placed the belongings in his pocket
  • In another case, two TSA agents focus on the corner of a bag, and pocket something from there

It’s believed that they stole cash in both cases, in the amounts of $800 and $600. Part of the scheme was also apparently to distract passengers and have them not focus on their bags, which is where a third person came into play.

While these two incidents were caught on tape, one has to wonder how many other times these people stole without being caught. I have to imagine this wasn’t the first time they did this…

Always take inventory of your valuables at security

In fairness to the TSA, there are tens of thousands of agents, and any group with that many employees is bound to have some bad apples. I actually think on balance, TSA agents are more pleasant now than 15 years ago (at least I don’t notice as many power trips as when the organization was still newer).

While studies have shown they aren’t terribly consistent about uncovering prohibited items, they have stressful jobs, and as I always say, I couldn’t imagine dealing with the traveling public every day.

Specific to this incident, I mean, it’s pretty bold to steal directly from a checkpoint. It’s video recorded, you have a lot of people around who are watching, and if something of value is stolen, passengers may quickly catch on.

But this is also an important reminder to always take inventory of your valuables at checkpoints. As much as the TSA tells people that they should keep an eye on their valuables, that’s not always possible. Aside from at TSA checkpoints, it’s not often you’re otherwise forcibly separated from valuables. While we hope that TSA agents will do the right thing (and most do), that’s obviously not the case with everyone.

Bottom line

Three TSA agents at Miami Airport have been charged with stealing from passengers at a security checkpoint. While this goes back a few months, video footage of the incident has now been released. My goodness, it’s pretty bold to steal in front of people like this. While you might get away with it once or twice, you’re going to get caught sooner rather than later, and that’s clearly what happened here.

While these were obviously just some bad apples, it’s a good reminder to always check on your belongings before you leave the checkpoint.

What do you make of this TSA theft incident?

Conversations (27)
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  1. iamhere Guest

    Agree most TSA agents are rude and many are also ignorant and incompetent. They do not have good service standard. This is especially true when you compare people in similar jobs in other countries to the TSA agents. TSA agents often think they are in so much power and control over the passengers. I am always careful with my stuff on the tray and even would pre-prepare my stuffs in my bag to further prevent...

    Agree most TSA agents are rude and many are also ignorant and incompetent. They do not have good service standard. This is especially true when you compare people in similar jobs in other countries to the TSA agents. TSA agents often think they are in so much power and control over the passengers. I am always careful with my stuff on the tray and even would pre-prepare my stuffs in my bag to further prevent this issue. One major issue is if someone stole something I guess many TSA supervisors would not believe the customer or a complaint just would not go far.

  2. Rodrigo Becerra Guest

    I find most TSA agents to be one of the following if not all rude, ignorant and incompetent, abusing their power totally, badly trained and to make it even worse now thieves...the whole security experience in the US is despicable...and offensive because of these people.

  3. robbo Guest

    As a rule, I stand by my baggage and watch it before it goes through the x-ray and then i enter the body x-ray. I don't know how many times I have been told by the ferral's of the TSA to move through the body scanner. I always explain I am waiting to see my baggage go through before I do. But then wait, there's more, the high risk of the TSA ferrals stealing my...

    As a rule, I stand by my baggage and watch it before it goes through the x-ray and then i enter the body x-ray. I don't know how many times I have been told by the ferral's of the TSA to move through the body scanner. I always explain I am waiting to see my baggage go through before I do. But then wait, there's more, the high risk of the TSA ferrals stealing my stuff while it sits at the other end waiting for me to go through the inevitable long line. So you are at risk no matter what precautions you may take. I don't trust the bastards at all. Never have.

  4. George Romey Guest

    I would never trust the mall cops working for the TSA, particularly at MIA. I watch my bags like a hawk.

  5. Peter Volny Guest

    I hope you will stay on these thefts and report what punishment they receive. An example should be set to send a clear message that this will not be tolerated. TSA must have some electronic way of communicating with all their employees and should let them know what the penalty was. I agree that 99% of TSA agents are honest so why should they all be tarnished by a few bad apples. Sadly I suspect...

    I hope you will stay on these thefts and report what punishment they receive. An example should be set to send a clear message that this will not be tolerated. TSA must have some electronic way of communicating with all their employees and should let them know what the penalty was. I agree that 99% of TSA agents are honest so why should they all be tarnished by a few bad apples. Sadly I suspect that some lenient judge will send them off with a slap on the wrist and encouragement to keep stealing.

    1. bako Guest

      On July 6, Williams, Gonzalez and a third TSA agent Elizabeth Fuster were arrested for allegedly removing $600 from a passenger’s wallet while they were going through security.

      The arrest affidavits say Gonzalez and Fuster waived their rights at the time of arrest and provided written confessions. Williams refused to talk.
      However, at a later hearing charges against Fuster were dropped according to NBC Miami.

      They also report that Gonzalez was accepted into a...

      On July 6, Williams, Gonzalez and a third TSA agent Elizabeth Fuster were arrested for allegedly removing $600 from a passenger’s wallet while they were going through security.

      The arrest affidavits say Gonzalez and Fuster waived their rights at the time of arrest and provided written confessions. Williams refused to talk.
      However, at a later hearing charges against Fuster were dropped according to NBC Miami.

      They also report that Gonzalez was accepted into a state program that, if completed, the charges against him will be dropped.

      He has been ordered to pay $700 to the two victims, do 25 hours of community service and give up his airport security credentials.

      Williams was denied entry into the same program and will head to trial.

    2. iamhere Guest

      Those consequences are probably not enough.

  6. Mark Guest

    Time to get rid of TSA completely.

  7. glenn t Diamond

    Occasionally due to forgetfullness I have had to empty out my pockets before going through the X-ray machine,and a secondary tray containing maybe my wallet, phone, loose change, reading and/or sunglasses goes through after my bag.
    Yikes, my bad! While I've never had a problem, I have felt very nervous and kept a close eye on that tray as it progresses and comes out the other side.
    (Normally I empty my pockets into...

    Occasionally due to forgetfullness I have had to empty out my pockets before going through the X-ray machine,and a secondary tray containing maybe my wallet, phone, loose change, reading and/or sunglasses goes through after my bag.
    Yikes, my bad! While I've never had a problem, I have felt very nervous and kept a close eye on that tray as it progresses and comes out the other side.
    (Normally I empty my pockets into my carry-on before approaching security .)
    If a security-type want to hurry me along I simply say that if anything is left behind/goes missing in the pre-boarding procedures this is the most likely time for it to happen. They soon back off.

  8. Randy Diamond

    That is why I always remain standing the load point until my bag goes in the machine.

    Recently, flying out of ATL, I waited over 10 minutes for my bag to get in the machine. ATL is like MIA - in that they have mutliple positions and the trays stage 3 deep before they get on the moving belt. I got attitude from ATL agents with me waiting for my bag to move on.

  9. Jake Guest

    In 2017 my MacBook somehow did not make it past TSA in Denver. I did not realize it until I was in Spokane.

    1. iamhere Guest

      Then what happened?

  10. JS Guest

    I really hope you are not serious. Wow.

  11. Ryan Guest

    Geeze... if you're going to be a racist a-hole at least have a coherent argument. Superior race my arse.

  12. Eisy2 Guest

    Why do black people need monitoring?
    Do white or other people don’t steal?
    Your comment is disgusting and full of venom. It’s people like you that need
    monitoring.

  13. Kelley P Diamond

    I am a scuba diver. So I travel with a lot (too much, according to my patient husband) of heavy and expensive gear. For a while there Miami & Puerto Rico were two airports that every dive forum had folks warning each other not to fly through, because gear was getting stolen, and then the owner would see it for sale on Craigslist or such. It was being stolen by the TSA and baggage handlers...

    I am a scuba diver. So I travel with a lot (too much, according to my patient husband) of heavy and expensive gear. For a while there Miami & Puerto Rico were two airports that every dive forum had folks warning each other not to fly through, because gear was getting stolen, and then the owner would see it for sale on Craigslist or such. It was being stolen by the TSA and baggage handlers and neither TSA Management nor the airlines would address the issue. I had to fly through Miami with my gear once and put TSA locks on the bags, when the TSA agent checking me in noticed he said that I should take them off. I explained that since they were TSA locks, if anything came up stolen I could pinpoint that it was TSA personnel who had stolen the contents. He was so offended, and I just said, look, if it wasn't such a known problem, I wouldn't have to do this. Clean up your own house before you get all offended! Clearly, it's never been cleaned up. This is also why, when going through the lines, I do not head for the x-ray machine until I see my stuff go into the tunnel (and my husband goes ahead to "catch" them on the other end). It's really sad that we've had to resort to this, but now we see why it's necessary to go to such lengths!

  14. Jung Guest

    time to sue TSA for negligence on background checks and personal loss

  15. Sean M. Diamond

    I hope they get immunity from prosecution due to executive priviledge.

    Allowing TSA screeners to be prosecuted for actions taken while serving as federal officials is a slippery slope towards holding other federal officials accountable.

    1. Yahia Guest

      Why grant immunity? Even if they hold TSA badges, those caught red-handed for malfeasance should be held accountable. Granting law enforcement immunity could lead to the entire agency descending into a group of low grade criminals.

    2. Creditcrunch Diamond

      More details and a video of the court proceedings can be watched here ;

      https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/charges-dropped-for-1-of-3-tsa-officers-accused-of-stealing-from-miami-airport-passengers/3085619/#:~:text=longer%20facing%20charges.-,Hearings%20were%20held%20Friday%20for%20the%20three%20officers%20%2D%20Josue%20Gonzalez,in%20a%20Miami%2DDade%20courtroom.&text=All%20three%20were%20arrested%20in,steal%20money%20from%20their%20belongings.

    3. Dt123 Gold

      Taking a completely non political article and making it political. Textbook case of what Republicans call "Trump derangement syndrome"

      Hush up now

    4. XPL Diamond

      @Dt123: Actually, the limitation or removal of qualified immunity and executive privilege have been nonpartisan policy proposals for many years now, independent of whichever party happens to be in power at the moment.

  16. John Guest

    I’m shocked enough people carry enough cash to make it worth checking.

    1. XPL Diamond

      That depends on the destination. Within the developed world, I agree with you. But if you are headed off the beaten path, hard currency cash is king.

  17. Brandon Biden Guest

    Tsa is a joke, a make work project by govt similar to those from 1930s,

    My gut tells me if you drug tested them, they would shrink by 90%,
    Keep the 10% is all that is needed,

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Sean M. Diamond

I hope they get immunity from prosecution due to executive priviledge. Allowing TSA screeners to be prosecuted for actions taken while serving as federal officials is a slippery slope towards holding other federal officials accountable.

8
Levi Diamond

Whoosh...

4
Brandon Biden Guest

Tsa is a joke, a make work project by govt similar to those from 1930s, My gut tells me if you drug tested them, they would shrink by 90%, Keep the 10% is all that is needed,

4
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