TSA Agent Nelson Santiago Not the First Agency Employee to Be Arrested on Theft Charges
Our news yesterday of 30-year-old Transportation Security Administration worker Nelson Santiago's being arrested after apparently being caught stuffing a passenger's iPad in his pants and allegedly stealing $50,000 worth of electronics from luggage went around the world -- from Australia to the United Kingdom.
But Santiago is hardly the first TSA employee to be accused of stealing fliers' goods. In fact, he joins at least six other sticky-fingered TSA crew members who were also recently caught allegedly lifting things from luggage.
Two news outlets -- the New York Press and Hot Air -- have reported that around 500 TSA employees have been fired from the agency for theft since its inception in November 2001. Check out our compilation of the TSA's recent thieving history after the jump:
- June 23, 2011 -- Paul Yashou
Yashou, 37, was allegedly caught stealing things out of people's bags at Terminal 1 of the Los Angeles International Airport, a habit put to an end by the LAPD. According to CBS Los Angeles, Yashou was caught due to a tip from an Orange County pawn shop. Investigators followed up and believe that Yashou -- who'd been working at the terminal for almost nine years -- had made off with $30,000 worth of people's belongings.
- June 18, 2011 -- Karla Morgan
Undercover cops had a strong suspicion that Morgan, 49, was stealing things from luggage out of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. With agents from the Department of Homeland Security and cops in tow, investigators sent a wallet with $1,000 in marked bills down the inspection line, according to Examiner.com. On the way out of work, Morgan was arrested when investigators allegedly found that $1,000 in her backpack.
- May 10, 2011 -- Ryan Driscoll
Driscoll, 31, was also accused of stealing items out of fliers' luggage at LAX. He was arrested at the airport's Terminal 6, according to the Associated Press, although it wasn't disclosed what he was accused of stealing.
- March 11, 2011 -- Dawn Nikole Keka
Keka faced a federal embezzling charge after allegedly stealing cash from a federal agent posing as a Japanese tourist at Kona International Airport in Hawaii, according to the Big Island News Center. The "tourist" went through security with 13 marked $100 bills in her wallet, and Keka's "search" of the wallet allegedly included pocketing two of the Benjamins for herself. The feds also found four other bills in her pocket of various denominations, although it's not said whether those were stolen.
- February 16, 2011 -- Davon Webb and Persad Coumar
Webb 30, and Coumar, 44, were both TSA agents at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. According to Reuters, Coumar would alert Webb when he found cash in a bag he was screening. Webb would place tape on the bag, and they would allegedly recover the cash in a luggage area later. Cops reportedly found $40,000 stashed in the men's homes, although they allegedly admitted to stealing as much as an additional $160,000.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.