Bazooka Round: After an alarm on checked baggage at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), TSA Officers discovered an old military bazooka round. Not knowing if this was live or inert, Law Enforcement Officers established a 100-foot perimeter around the item and evacuated the baggage area and terminals near the item. An explosive ordinance disposal team put the item in a containment box and moved it to a remote location where they deemed the item inert. After all was said and done, 5 flights were delayed 1 hour, 23 minutes, affecting an unknown number of passengers. This is why we highly encourage people to contact us before flying with items such as this before they get to the airport, so they don’t inconvenience themselves and others. On a related note, do you know how the bazooka got its name? It was named after it’s resemblance to a novelty instrument played by 1930’s era comedian Bob Burns.
IED Training Aid Discovered at Norfolk – An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training aid was discovered in a passenger’s checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF). As I’ve said before, we’re all too familiar with instructors and other people in this type of business needing these types of items for their jobs, but as with all inert training items and replicas, we don’t know they’re not real until we’ve gone through all the motions. These motions can include evacuated baggage areas and closed checkpoints which lead to delays and missed flights. People that need to travel with INERT items should plan ahead and contact their preferred shipper about mailing the training aids to their destination.
Holy Bat Stars, Batman – These bat stars are exactly what you would need in your arsenal when fighting diabolical crime, however, they’re not OK to take on a plane. These were found at San Diego (SAN). Throwing stars were also discovered at AUS, DCA, and SEA and throwing knives were discovered at LAX.
Eau de Kaboom – A bottle of cologne in the shape of a grenade was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag at San Diego (SAN). On the X-ray, it looked like a regular hand grenade, so it took time to clear. In addition, two training grenades were discovered after an alarm in checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF). The passenger at ORF also had 4 magazines loaded with 120 .223 rounds. And if that’s not enough, two other inert grenades were discovered in a carry-on bag at Savannah (SAV). Read here and here for more information on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints. We don’t know they’re inert until we check them out and checking them out can often inconvenience your fellow passengers.
Body Scanner Discoveries This Week – There were a total of 13 illegal and prohibited items discovered this week with the body scanners at AVP, EWR, BTV, 2 for OGG, SEA, FAI, PHX, 3 for SFO, SMF, and BDL. Among the items were drugs and drug paraphernalia, but one of the passengers was loaded for bear!!! After alarming the body scanner, a large can of bear mace was found concealed in the passenger’s sock at Newark (EWR). Finding these types of items in areas where explosives could also be hidden is a testament that the technology works.
Items in the Strangest Places - It’s one thing to forget you had a prohibited item in your bag, but when you intentionally try to sneak it past us, you could wind up being cited or even arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where passengers tried to sneak items past our Officers.
- A knife was discovered wrapped in a towel and concealed in a water bottle at Denver (DEN). The passenger admitted they were trying to sneak it past our officers.
- Two cane swords were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS).
- A knife was found concealed inside a hollowed out book at Kahului (OGG).
- Marijuana was discovered taped inside of a book after a checked baggage alarm at Philadelphia (PHL).
- Brass knuckles were discovered concealed under multiple rolls of quarters in a gift box at Philadelphia (PHL). The passenger admitted they were trying to sneak it past our officers.
Stun Guns – 6 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation at: SFO, ORF, DEN, MSP, RIC, and LAX.
People Say the Darndest Things – Here is an example of what not to say at the airport. Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
A passenger at Kansas City (KCI) who was frustrated after being on standby stated: “I’m going to go get a gun and shoot everybody if I don’t make this flight.”
Stolen Laptop in Tampa Recovered in New York – After reporting her laptop missing, TSA at Tampa (TPA) reviewed the checkpoint video footage and observed a passenger taking the laptop and placing it in their bag. Thanks to the footage, a description was provided and the thief’s flight was met at LaGuardia by NY Port Authority Police and TSA. The passenger confessed and the laptop was eventually returned to its rightful owner.
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found firearm components, realistic replica firearms, stun guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and oodles of knives.
Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.
You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.
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