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Resource ID: #25981
Subject: Airports
Source: ABC News
Affiliation: 
Date: Sept. 27-28, Oct. 5, 2012

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Description

In the first nationwide investigation into a burgeoning problem of theft within the Transportation Security Administration since its inception in 2003, the ABC News Investigative Team compiled compelling data obtained through FOI requests, an insider's tell-all, victim stories and its own tracking integrity test at TSA checkpoints that resulted in immediate impact and calls for swift change. The TSA, tasked with protecting the traveling public in the wake of the September 11 attacks, admitted during the course of our investigation that it had quietly fired hundreds of its employees for stealing the belongings of passengers. The ABC News team conducted a tracking integrity test at 10 major airports across the country, each chosen for its history of theft problems (as indicated by FOI data). We purposefully left iPads at TSA security checkpoints. In nine out of ten cases, TSA screening officers did exactly what they were supposed to do and returned the iPad to the ABC News Investigative team. But in one case, our iPad was taken and we tracked it using GPS technology to the home of a TSA officer (the last person our cameras in the Orlando airport also saw handling the device). The investigation resulted in the officer's dismissal, thousands of responses from viewers across the country, and immediate calls from Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman John Mica for reform within the agency. The TSA began conducting additional sting operations, during which a TSA officer was caught and fired in December.

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