Hezbollah cartoon teaches kids to throw stones at Israelis

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500 TSA Officers Fired or Suspended for Stealing

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by Howard Portnoy

Houston, you’ve got a problem. Every airport does, and it goes by a familiar name: TSA theft.

In the case of Houston, the problem was Transportation and Security Administration agent Karla Renee Morgan, who decided to augment her salary by helping herself to the contents of passengers’ luggage as it passed through her security checkpoint.

In 2009, a TSA screener at Newark Liberty International Airport by the name of Pythias Brown was sentenced to three years in federal prison on multiple counts of grand larceny. Known to eBay buyers as “Alirla,” Brown had run the largest one-man theft ring in the short history of the Transportation Security Administration, netting an estimated $400,000 via the resale of stolen high-priced electronics.

And even Brown represents just the tip of the iceberg. According to TSA records, press reports, and court documents, Brown is just one of some 500 TSA officers who have been fired or suspended for stealing from passenger luggage since the agency’s creation in November of 2001. The airports servicing New York City—John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty—harbor the most flagrant offenders, but virtually no city in the nation is safe from the TSA’s sticky fingers.

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