Oct 1, 2012



(ABCNews) -- A convicted TSA security officer says he was part of a "culture" of indifference that allowed corrupt employees to prey on passengers' luggage and personal belongings with impunity, thanks to lax oversight and tip-offs from TSA colleagues.

"It was very commonplace, very," said Pythias Brown, a former TSA officer at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey who admits he stole more than $800,000 worth of items from luggage and security checkpoints over a four-year period.

"It was very convenient to steal," he said.

Speaking publicly for the first time after being released from prison, Brown told ABC News his four-year-long crime spree came to an end only because he tried to sell a camera he stole from the luggage of a CNN producer on E-bay but forgot to remove all of the news networks' identifying stickers.

"It became so easy, I got complacent," Brown said.

Brown is one of almost 400 TSA officers who have been fired for stealing from passengers in the past decade. According to the TSA, 381 TSA officers have been fired for theft between 2003 and 2012, including 11 so far in this year.

Assigned to screen luggage behind the ticket counters, Brown said he often worked alone, was told when overhead surveillance cameras to prevent theft were not working, and was never asked about suspicious behavior.

"It was so easy," said Brown, "I walked right out of the checkpoint with a Nintendo Wii in my hand. Nobody said a word."

He said he soon learned how to read the X-ray scans to find the most valuable items to steal.

"I could tell whether it was cameras or laptops or portable cameras or whatever kind of electronic was in the bag," Brown said.

At the time of his arrest, Brown was offering for sale some 80 cameras, video games and computers on his personal eBay page.

"It was like being on drugs, it was," he told ABC News. "I was like, 'What am I doing?' but the next day I was right back at it."

Click here to read the entire article.


Categories:

0 comments:

Post a Comment