Columbia Police confirmed Friday afternoon that Department of Homeland Security officials arrested a TSA employee in the Columbia Regional Airport parking lot around 7 a.m. Thursday.
Columbia police identified the employee as 32-year-old Eric Richard Dunlap of Jefferson City, Dunlap is suspected of felony stealing.
Columbia Police Sergeant Joe Bernhard said the arrest took place after what he called a Department of Homeland Security honesty check. As part of the honesty check, a DHS official posed as a traveler gave Dunlap a bag with $500 inside, claiming he found it at the airport.
Bernhard said officials then saw Dunlap leave the airport Thursday morning with the bag and arrested him.
By the way, if this were a random attempt to entrap somebody, I’d be against it. You shouldn’t be going around handing random people bags of cash to test whether they give it back or not. Sad fact is that plenty of people — most, probably — wouldn’t return it. So let’s not get on our high horse here. That’s not what this is about. TSA agent Dunlap was targeted because it was already suspected that he’d been stealing from passengers’ bags:
Columbia Public Works Public Information Specialist Steven Sapp said the arrest came after reports from passengers at Columbia Regional had notified TSA and Department of Homeland Security officials that they believed items were missing from their bags. Officials then identified Dunlap, the employee suspected of removing the items from their bags, after reviewing video surveillance footage.
But again, logic and common sense dictate that there’s much more theft going on than we’ll ever know about. We’ve written about tons of it here at TSA News. It’s impossible to know about it all.
(Photo: Nisha A/Flickr Creative Commons)