ABC News Tracks Missing iPad To Florida Home of TSA Officer
In the latest apparent case of what have been hundreds of thefts by TSA officers of passenger belongings, an iPad left behind at a security checkpoint in the Orlando airport was tracked as it moved 30 miles to the home of the TSA officer last seen handling it.
Confronted two weeks later by ABC News, the TSA officer, Andy Ramirez, at first denied having the missing iPad, but ultimately turned it over after blaming his wife for taking it from the airport.
The iPad was one of ten purposely left behind at TSA checkpoints at major airports with a history of theft by government screeners, as part of an ABC News investigation into the TSA's ongoing problem with theft from passengers.
The full video report will be seen today on "Good Morning America," "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline."
"This is the tip of the iceberg," said Rep. John Mica, R.-Florida, chair of the House Transportation Committee and a frequent critic of TSA senior management. "It is an outrage to the public, and actually to our aviation system."
The TSA said Ramirez was no longer with the agency as of Wednesday afternoon. In a statement to ABC News, the agency said it has "a zero-tolerance policy for theft and terminates any employee who is determined to have stolen from a passenger."
According to the TSA, 381 TSA officers have been fired for theft between 2003 and 2012.
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