Stolen Tablet Traced Back To TSA Agent (Video)

| by Michael Doherty

A TSA agent was fired after an investigative report found he had stolen an iPad tablet left behind at a security checkpoint (video below).

The report, in which ABC journalist Brian Ross purposely left behind iPads at TSA checkpoints with "a history of TSA theft problems," saw nine out of the 10 iPads returned, but one was still left unaccounted for, according to Gawker.

The journalists then tracked the missing iPad down using the "Find my iPhone" app, revealing that the device was at the home of a TSA agent.

Ross then went to the home of Andy Ramirez, the TSA agent in Orlando, Florida, to confront him about the stolen tablet. Ramirez denied the theft at first, before blaming his wife for taking the device from the airport.

When Ross showed Ramirez a video recording of him handling the iPad in question at the security checkpoint, he shut the door of his home and refused to respond to further questions.

"I'm so embarrassed," said Ramirez. "My wife says she got the iPad and brought it home."

After the incident, the TSA fired Ramirez, citing its "zero-tolerance policy" toward theft, and saying that the organization "terminates any employee who is determined to have stolen from a passenger."

Republican Rep. John Mica of Florida said the theft was merely "the tip of the iceberg," according to ABC. Mica serves as the chair of the House Transportation Committee and has criticized the TSA's management in the past. "It is an outrage to the public, and actually to our aviation system," said Mica.

Between 2003 and 2012, according to the TSA's own statistics, 381 TSA officers were fired for theft. The TSA denied that theft was widespread among its agents, saying that the fired officers represent "less than one-half of one percent of officers that have been employed" by the agency.

The agency said in a statement that it holds it its employees "to the highest ethical standards."

Mica said the TSA has shown a failure to conduct sufficient background checks on new employees, and in 2012 asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the problem of theft within the agency.

"[If] you're not vetting them before you put them on the job, and allow them to rummage through people's personal effects, there is something wrong," the representative said.

Sources: Gawker, ABC News / Photo credit: Visual Hunt / Video credit: YouTube

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