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ABC News: TSA Officer Caught Red-Handed Stealing an iPad

I don’t like strangers touching my things. I know I sound a little like Dr. Sheldon Cooper about it, but can you blame me? We lay our personal effects bare for x-ray or inspection every time we fly, and it’s never fun — especially if there are gadgets involved. And now there’s even more reason to be neurotic about the whole thing.

Some people may harbor suspicions when items go missing from their suitcases, but few can prove what happened or why. But this time, things are different. This time, the perpetrator was caught red-handed stealing an iPad. And get this, it wasn’t a baggage handler or other airline employee — the thief was an officer from the TSA, the federal agency designated to protect people and secure airline travel. How do we know? Because the whole thing was the result of a sting operation conducted by ABC News.

Using Apple’s Find My iPhone/iPad feature, the crew hit up 10 major U.S. airports with bad track records for TSA theft. iPads were placed out in the open at TSA checkpoints. The appropriate procedure is to turn in the device to the lost and found department, and that’s exactly what happened in nine out of the 10 situations. But it was too much to resist for one crooked TSA officer at Orlando International Airport, and so Andy Ramirez took the bait.

ABC tracked it for a couple of hours, following it as Ramirez eventually took it back to his place of residence. Then the crew came a-knockin’ two weeks later. (Hit the vid, to see what happened.)

This is just idiotic. Find My iPhone is standard on every Apple mobile device, so it didn’t really take an investigative journalism team to crack this case. To add stupid on top of stupid, when the guy was confronted, he blamed it on his wife, who he said was the one who brought it home.

Have you ever had a gadget go missing at an airport? Did you ever find out who took it or where it wound up? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via 9to5Mac, ABC News]


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Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...


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