Report: Las Vegas airport ranks 5th for TSA officers fired for theft

The Transportation Security Administration office serving McCarran International Airport had the fifth highest number of officers fired for theft in the country in the last 10 years, a broadcast report says.

ABC News reported that 15 TSA officers at McCarran were fired between 2002 and December 2011. The network reported the number of theft firings from 20 airports, based on data from the TSA obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

As part of an ABC sting operation, network employees deliberately left 10 iPads at TSA checkpoints in airports across the country. Nine of the iPads were returned, but one was discovered at the home of a TSA agent in Orlando, which ranked 11th on the list with 11 officer firings.

The Orlando officer was fired.

A TSA blog post about the story said that the number of officers terminated for theft represented 0.4 percent of the TSA workforce.

“We are well too aware of how the actions of a few can influence the perception the public has of our agency,” the TSA post said. “It’s truly a shame, because the majority of our workforce meets the expectations set forth to them — integrity, professionalism and hard work. The reputation of TSA is adversely affected by instances like this one, where employees do not display integrity.”

Not surprisingly, most of the thefts occurred at the nation’s busiest airports.

The worst airport for TSA theft firings was Miami International Airport with 29.

Following Miami were John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York with 27 theft firings, Los Angeles International with 24 and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 17. All but four of the airports on the list ABC reported are among the 20 busiest airports in the country.

Based on 2011 statistics, McCarran is the eighth busiest airport in the country by passenger boardings. McCarran reported 40.6 million passengers used the airport last year.

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  1. Were the 15 TSA officers from Vegas prosecuted also or just fired?

    Is It policy to fire thieves that work for the TSA or do they see jail time?

  2. I recently met a TSA officer (in uniform) at Wal-Mart while waiting in line to check out. Very disappointing. You get what you pay for.

  3. The TSA is merely security theater. It is a gross waste of taxpayer dollars merely to provide the illusion to the public that the government is doing something to protect us.

    When the TSA missed 90% of test objects in EWR several years ago, TSA administrator Kip Hawley saluted that as a success.

    The truth is the contract screeners before 9/11 did a much better job identifying security threats. Now we spend over $1B on a less effective system that is quickly becoming a bloated government bureaucracy.

  4. TSA has embedded itself into the culture of fear. A reasonable screening for firearms was enough. The over-the-top fear of shoes, cologne, computers and outerwear is an erosion of civil rights in pursuit of perfect safety.

    The strategy used by the 9/11 morons was closed off when the pilots were re-instructed to not open the cabin door, and not let even ersatz vest bombs change their instructions.

    Let's grow up, put TSA into perspective, and let us onto the friggin' plane without the assumption of guilt until proven innocent (sound like North Korea?).

    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Safety is just another word for nothing left to give away.

  5. "A reasonable screening for firearms was enough. The over-the-top fear of shoes, cologne, computers and outerwear is an erosion of civil rights in pursuit of perfect safety."

    DCThomas -- you forgot to mention female breasts.

    But what else can be expected from a citizenry who tolerates these officers groping our daughters and forcing our elderly mothers to strip off their diapers? Since We the herd let them get away with that, there's pretty much nothing they can't get away with.

    "We must choose between freedom and fear -- we cannot have both. If the citizens of the United States persist in being afraid, the real rulers of this country will be fanatics fired with a zeal to save grown men from objectionable ideas by putting them under the care of official nursemaids." -- Scales v. U.S., 367 U.S. 203, 270 (1961), Justice Douglas dissenting