So I was watching Good Morning America yesterday, and they did an investigative report to test what happens to valuable items in the TSA airport security process. They placed Ipads and cash in suitcases to go through checked baggage, and they “accidentally” left Ipads at security X-ray screening checkpoints to see if they would be returned.
I have always had a keen interest in airport security and loved getting to look at some of the physical access control systems put into place by the TSA. I was particularly fascinated by some of the turnstiles I saw at the airport shown on screen. I even found myself searching where to buy turnstiles, as well as other questions about physical security at airports online afterward. I really could talk about airports all day, I just love knowing about all the behind the scenes goings-on.
The good news is it appears that there is a pretty good chance that our stuff is safe when we travel. All the checked baggage items made it through with nothing missing, and all but one of the Ipads left at the screening checkpoints were routed through the proper lost-and-found procedures and back to the owner. But that one Ipad wasn’t so lucky.
Surveillance video shows a TSA officer picking up the “left behind” Ipad, but it was never turned into lost and found. The tracking program installed on the Ipad tracked it to his house instead. Oops!
Now, you would think that if you’re standing outside your house (in your TSA uniform) and an ABC News reporter comes up with a camera and asks about an item that you know you stole, at that point, the jig is up and you’re busted, right? Not this guy. Swore up and down he knew nothing about it.
So they show him the tracking device’s Google map with a big ole blinking light right on top of his house. Busted! Nope; still knows nothing about it.
So (this is my favorite part) they activate the alarm in the tracking program. The stolen Ipad begins to beep a loud signal, kind of like a baby crying for its mama. Lo and behold, (shocker!) they can hear the loud beep coming from inside this guy’s house! Busted! Not yet.
He goes inside, changes out of his TSA uniform (a little late, but it’s his first wise choice so we’ll applaud it), and comes to the door and asks that the camera be turned off (again, a little late, but wise). Then his wife sheepishly hands the reporter the stolen Ipad. And again, you would think at this point, he’s red-handed busted, and he would just admit it and hang his head. Nope! Not this dude!
He actually steps outside the house (wait, this is actually my favorite part) and tells the reporter that he is embarrassed to admit that his WIFE stole the Ipad and brought it home. REALLY??? REALLY??? At that point, dude, REALLY???
The reporter tells him they have video of the Ipad in his hands at the airport. And then he makes another wise decision–he shuts up.
I would love to hear the the conversation he and his wife had when he got back inside.
Morals of the story:
1. Don’t steal.
2. When you’re busted, you’re busted. Own it.
3. Don’t leave your stuff behind at the airport.
4. Get the “Find My Ipad” app on your Ipad. (But I don’t suggest following the beep on your own. Especially not with a camera.)
Here’s the video. Check it out yourself.
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