More than a year after elderly travelers Omer Petti and Madge Woodward claimed TSA screeners stole $300 from them during the course of what they described as “extreme pat-downs” at the San Diego International Airport, it appears that TSA has reimbursed Mr. Petti. The agency continues to deny culpability, claiming the surveillance video was too blurry for them to be able to identify the thief.
Mr. Petti, a retired 96 year old WWII Air Force Major, had lodged complaints with State and Federal lawmakers, TSA, and Delta Airlines; he also filed a tort claim with TSA seeking reimbursement.
“Here it is,” Petti said in triumph, waving the official embossed check from the U.S. Department of Treasury.
We may draw a couple of conclusions. One, the video really was clear enough that the investigative crew could reasonably identify the amount–$300 in cash–that had been stolen (and was therefore likely clear enough–especially when cross-referenced with employee schedules–to identify the thief himself). And two, since no employee was publicly charged and held accountable, Petti’s “official embossed check from the U.S. Department of Treasury” was simply a PR effort on the part of the TSA, one which perpetuates the agency’s customer-service charade while also covering up–and (they surely hoped) closing the file on–yet another episode of TSA screener theft and abuse of innocent passengers. [click to continue…]