National warning issued on TSA thefts

Holiday travelers need to be more aware of how they pack

Published On: Dec 06 2012 06:08:21 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 06 2012 11:28:14 AM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Most probably expect for their things to be safe when they fly, but after recent thefts by airport employees, travelers might want to think twice.

Flyers need to get ready for the holidays, because it is going to be a busy season.

The airlines are reporting that nearly all flights will be flying at full capacity. That means a lot of people and a lot of luggage.

While people expect their things to be safe when they fly, one airport worker was just busted this week for stealing from checked baggage at JFK airport.

Many are now wondering what they can do to keep their things safe when they fly the skies.

Authorities said the screener was leaving the airport with what he thought were passengers' iPads and laptops.

But they were bad iPads, planted by police with a GPS on them.

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said even though this happened in New York, it's something we need to be on the look out for at any airport.

Research shows that between May 2003 to December 2011, 381 TSA agents were terminated for theft.

In just the last year, the FAA received reports of missing items from 206 people.

In this latest case, authorities caught the screener with two iPads, a 17-inch MacBook Pro and possibly another laptop in his bag.

They even found another stolen Apple laptop at his house.

Politicians have been asking for agents to be held accountable. Some are calling for stings to be done nationwide.

But in the meantime, Jefferson says there are things people can do to protect themselves.

"What travelers need to be aware of is if you don't have to pack it or check it underneath the plane, carry it with you," Jefferson said. "If it's something light like a laptop or an iPad or something like that, those are the most popular items that are being stolen."