TSA in Atlanta: theft, theft, and more theft

by Lisa Simeone on February 7, 2013

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)

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