TSA Worker Accused of Theft

Although it’s kind of a personal bit of humor, I do enjoy it when TSA or their employees get caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Or in this case, their hands in someone else’s luggage.

TSA officer Paul Yashou had been working at Los Angeles International Airport but was arrested last month for allegedly stealing a $5,000 watch. Who knew watches were that expensive? I personally enjoyed my Skagen watch that costs much less, but it came up missing during a recent flight as well.

Yashou supposedly grabbed a Breitling Crosswind, along with a $1,000 Antima watch and a $1,000 Movado watch. He will be arraigned Aug. 3.

TSA has a “zero tolerance policy for theft in the workplace.” I’m very happy to hear they take this seriously, though it does cast a deep shadow on the agency and its workers.

I’m sure, by and large, most TSA workers are hard working people and the actions of one or two, or a select few should not reflect negatively on the remaining 50,000 federal employees.

Last month, a former security supervisor at Newark Liberty Airport was sentenced to two and half years in prison in a scheme to steal cash from travelers’ luggage. In June, a former TSA worker was accused of stealing laptops from checked luggage at Orlando International Airport.

From my experience, there might be a scheme afoot at John F. Kennedy International Airport to steal gold earrings (a gift for the wife) and my Skagen watch. By the way, she still doesn’t believe I actually bought her the earrings in Madrid.

Keep up the good work TSA. A background check of your former employees might have helped prove they were not fit for this kind of work.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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