TSA in Atlanta: theft, theft, and more theft

Bruce Turner
We’ve written umpteen times about the prevalence of theft by TSA agents. TSA agents themselves have come forward to say that TSA theft is rampant.

So we can’t be surprised by this story from Atlanta that hundreds of passengers have filed complaints with the TSA over stolen items at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Or that those complaints go ignored.

WSBTV, which has done yeoman’s work for a while now in cataloguing TSA abuses, gives us this latest report on TSA theft.

One passenger claimed $11,000 in fine jewelry was lost. Another reported losing $10,000 worth. One said thousands of dollars in clothes and shoes went missing.

MacFarlane found complaints about PC tablets, auto parts, and $780 sunglasses missing from Atlanta travelers.

In other cities, travelers have faced another problem.

“We’ve run into problems at checkpoints where people are actually lifting items from bags. Recently, we’ve seen TSA people caught at home with the items they stole from people at the airport,” travel industry expert Charlie Leocha told MacFarlane.

And good luck getting reimbursed:

Twenty passengers reported losing digital cameras from their bags. Dozens and dozens claimed losing jewelry and iPads as well.

But the TSA isn’t reimbursing many of them. In fact, it reimbursed zero passengers who reported lost cameras

Passengers reported $300,000 in property lost or damaged in Atlanta. TSA cut about $35,000 in reimbursement checks.

What happens if you file a complaint? What do you think?

The agency has an online claims process and MacFarlane was told it has investigators on staff to review receipts, talk to witnesses, and review the claims. But the numbers indicate if your stuff gets lost in Atlanta, it’s hard to prove your case.

Gee, I’m shocked, shocked, I say!

(Photo: Bruce Turner/Flickr Creative Commons)

  • Cpwilliams

    Just had TSA in Atlanta lift $60 from my purse Wednesday May 29 2012 at approximately 7 am. The Tall black male Agent insisted he take my purse away out of my sight to run it back through security X-ray twice after a complete hand check of all the contents and after seeing $80- 4 $20s lose in my purse pocket. I was not allowed to go with him. I rushed to make my flight but after I landed in LA the money was gone and I was $60 poorer!!! It was the only time my purse left my sight. He robbed me and even if I probably won’t ever get my money back I want him to know that I know he did it. What a loser and low life! He stole from a 60 year old woman who worked and saved a long time for that trip and money. I have lost respect for TSA now. You cannot trust them!!!

    • Cpwilliams, I”m sorry this happened to you, just as it’s happened to thousands — likely tens of thousands — of others. We’ve been reporting on TSA theft and abuse for years. (I’m surprised you ever had any respect for them.) Click the tab at the top of this page that says “Master List” to see the crimes the TSA routinely commits.

  • TSAisTerrorism

    And AGAIN! if they can take it out without being caught, what are they capable of putting IN?

    Remember: these “people” are never never never never never screened. Ever.

  • SkS

    At Memphis, I have had external computer speakers & fine lingerie taken from my suitcase. Very frustrating, because while the TAS placed a card inside my bag, they refused to take responsibility. Are there no cameras on these creeps while they pilfer our belongings?????

    • SkS, there are supposedly cameras, but the TSA conveniently loses video footage when they’re on the hook, whether by stealing from luggage in the background or harassing/assaulting passengers at the checkpoint.

      Crucial video minutes from their abuse of Stacy Armato has mysteriously gone missing; same with Jon Corbett. And god knows how many others.

      Bottom line: if you fly, you’re at their mercy. And because so many Americans are fine with that, it will continue. The prevailing attitude is: “Just get me to my flight on time!” That, plus: “As long as it happens to someone else and not to me.”

      There are those great American values in action.

  • RB

    Same story out of SeaTac.

    ………PDF Waring…………


    Seems we may have found something that TSA is actually good at. Employees thieving off of passengers and TSA officials unwilling to investigate and hold employees accountable.

    Why am I not surprised?

  • Susan Richart

    Now there is essentially the same report out of Pittsburg:


    Has someone (Leocha?) finally persuaded various news organizations to investigate TSA theft?

  • Susan Richart

    You gotta believe that this goes on at many other airports also. In fact, I’d wager that ALL of the bigger airports have gangs of TSA thieves.