Airport Crime Watch
Security Breakdown At LaGuardia
Port Authority Police officials this week are questioning the actions of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents who found two possible pipe bombs in the luggage of a passenger at LaGuardia Airport on January 30 – and left them in a public area for more than six hours before notifying airport police.
The shocking security breakdown is a violation of TSA policy that requires agents to notify Port Authority Police of all suspicious activities, authorities said.
Cops said the agents spotted the objects at about 11:30 a.m. on January 30 while scanning the luggage of a male passenger through an X-ray machine at an airport security terminal.
Law enforcement sources said the agents saw the objects – one gold and two silver, each six inches long, with springs mounted inside and believed they could be bombs.
The agents alerted their supervisor, who questioned the passenger, the sources said. The passenger said the items were used in the practice of homeopathic medicine.
The supervisor accepted the explanation and allowed the passenger to board his flight without the items and without taking his name, address or other information.
The items remained in a public screening area until approximately 5 p.m., when the supervisor realized he should alert someone about the incident, the sources said.
The supervisor called a TSA bomb specialist, who arrived at the airport two hours later and decided the devices could be dangerous, law enforcement sources said. The specialist alerted the Port Authority Police Department Bomb Squad, which shut down the area moments after officers arrived at the terminal.
The officers took the items to the police bomb range in The Bronx, where they were determined not to be a threat.
JFK International Airport
Screener Busted In $5G Theft
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent was arrested at JFK Airport last week for allegedly swiping $5,000 from a passenger’s jacket at an airport security checkpoint, authorities said.
Alexandra Schmid, 31, was caught on an airport surveillance camera and by a co-worker who alerted colleagues of the theft, authorities said.
Schmid allegedly grabbed the cash, all $100 bills, from the jacket pocket of a passenger, stuffed it into a rubber glove and took it into an airport restroom, authorities said. When police arrived at the airport to arrest her, Schmid was carrying only $500 of the cash and it was unclear what happened to the rest of the stash, authorities said.
Schmid, who was suspected of other recent thefts, was suspended from her job and was charged with grand larceny at her arraignment at Queens Criminal Court.