Queens DA: JFK TSA Workers Loot $40,000 From Luggage
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- They were supposed to check luggage for explosives.
Instead, two Transportation Security Administration workers at John F. Kennedy International Airport allegedly stole $40,000 from a checked bag.
The two screeners were busted Wednesday and investigators said this isn't the first time they got sticky fingers, reports CBS 2's Pablo Guzman.
The person seen coming out of the Port Authority Police building at JFK, his face covered by a gray hood, was Davon Webb, 30, of the Bronx. Right behind him was Persad Coumar, of Queens. Wednesday was his 44th birthday. Both are TSA screeners at JFK with eight years each on the job. And both were arrested for allegedly taking thousands out of a passenger's bag that had been checked in.
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According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, when they saw $170,000 in the bag, "That was apparently sufficiently large for the two guys to be unable to stuff their pockets with everything, so they skimmed off about $40,000."
Detective Lietenant William Hanley of the Port Authority said Coumar put the traveler's bag through the screening machine and when he spotted what looked like money, he allegedly called Webb.
"They were able to mark the bag. Once it got back into the baggage system, they intercepted the bag...they opened up the bag and took the money out," Hanley told 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria.
1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria gets additional details on the alleged scheme from Detective Lietenant William Hanley
The TSA wanted it known that another TSA employee turned them in. However, the notion that employees would go through bags to steal did not make passengers feel secure.
"There's no control over it. There goes the trust," said Jeff Casper of Rye.
Investigators said they recovered $16,000 from Webb's home. Coumar, who allegedly admitted he'd stolen before, was supposed to have the remaining $24,000. But when investigators went to his home they allegedly only found $23,980.
Passengers are required to declare carrying cash over $10,000 going in or out of the country. The woman who had the $170,000 in the bag did not do that. She is currently missing in Argentina.
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