Friday, November 2, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Items in the Strangest Places



Knife hidden in foot powder.
Knife Discovered in Foot Powder at DTW














Items in the Strangest Places –It’s important to check your bags prior to traveling. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places. 

Knife
Knife Fell Out of Passenger's Pants at RIC










  • After alarming the walk through metal detector, a passenger at Richmond (RIC) was referred for a pat-down. During the pat-down, a knife with a 3” blade fell out of the man’s pants leg. He admitted that he was intentionally trying to conceal the knife.
  • Sword + Cane = Sword Cane. These seem to be a very common item and the majority of people who possess them had no idea there was a sword in their cane. Tip - if you have a second-hand cane, try pulling it apart. You might be surprised. The latest one was discovered at Akron (CAK).
  • A pocketknife was found wrapped in foil and concealed inside a plastic bottle of foot powder at Detroit (DTW).
  • A knife was discovered under the lining and under the frame of a carry-on bag at Philadelphia (PHL).
  • A lipstick knife was discovered at Ft. Lauderdale (FLL).
  • A credit card knife was discovered at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • An airport cleaning employee in Atlanta (ATL) discovered a loaded .38 caliber pistol in a flower pot in the public area. Apparently, somebody realized they had their firearm at the last minute and ditched it before going through security.
 
Cane sword, lipstick knife, and credit card knife. 














Grenades and rocket nose cone.

















Inert Grenades Etc. – We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a realistic bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays. I know they are cool novelty items, but it is best not to take them on a plane.  Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.

  • Four  inert/novelty grenades were discovered this week -- two in carry-on baggage at Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and two more in checked baggage at Las Vegas (LAS).
  • An inert nose cone for a rocket was discovered in the carry-on baggage of an instructor at NYL (Yuma). As I’ve said before, we’re all too familiar with instructors and other people in this type of business needing these sorts of items for their jobs. People that need to travel with INERT items should plan ahead and contact their preferred shipper about mailing the training aids to their destination.
  • A replica grenade belt buckle was discovered at Madison (MSN). With the naked eye, you could tell this was a belt buckle, but it looks real on the X-ray monitor. This is just another example of why anything  resembling a grenade should be left at home.

What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:

  • During a bag check at Baltimore (BWI), a passenger stated that her bag was going to explode.

Stun Guns –  Seven stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation: three at Denver (DEN), and one each at Los Angeles (LAX), Colorado Springs (COS), Detroit (DTW), Burbank (BUR)

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, Airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things -- to mention a few…

Firearms - Here are pictures of some of the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. See a complete list below.  

Loaded guns.
Loaded guns.
Loaded guns.


Loaded guns.
Loaded guns.



































33 guns discovered at TSA checkpoints this week.







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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27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob,
In all seriousness, why was the "Rocket Nose Cone" a prohibited item? It's not sharp, it's hollow and it never was explosive. It's simply a cone shaped piece of metal. Did it house gunpowder or something? just wondering. I understand knives, guns, bullets, grenades, etc. but why this? I ask because i build model rockets and would never pack any propelleant but might travel with other model components.

CJ said...

What does the TSA do with these weapons? I'd like to buy some of them.

Anonymous said...

Someone tried to carry a rifle through the checkpoint? Wow. Just wow. How dense can you get?

Ov said...

Thanks to the guidelines of this blog, last week I was able to travel without any mishaps from Jax Fl to Denver, Colorado with my gun ...

Anonymous said...

After not flying at all for nearly 7 years, I am turning into the Road Warrior! I recently flew from Seattle, WA (SEA) to Anchorage, AK (ANC) and returned after two weeks, Once again, I found no fault with the TSA screeners who courteously answered my questions, assisted me in sorting my carry-on belongings, and in general, being respectful and polite during the entire process. Having read the TSA Blog, I knew to put my shampoo, razor and other toilet items in my checked luggage, and was able to use all my favorite personal items in the motel in Anchorage. Upon my return to Seattle, I was entertained by the TSA screener who checked my identity and verified my boarding pass at the Anchorage AK (ANC) airport. He could check two passengers at a time! I wish I had remembered his name so that I could commend him for his humor and jocularity which was entertaining, to say the least. Kudos to the TSA screeners AGAIN!

RB said...

Another week where TSA proves that Strip Search Machines just aren't needed to find everything reported in this post. Why is TSA wasting our tax dollars in this time of high government debt?

Another little point, doesn't seem that the public is in the least bit intimidated by TSA. If TSA is not finding 100% of weapons, and we have every reason to believe that TSA only finds some, then we have many weapons flying. More evidence that no one is trying to harm air commerce.

Finally, why no mention of the latest upstanding TSA employee arrested for child rape?

We've learned a Transportation Security Agent has been arrested on a warrant for the rape of a northeast Ohio boy he had been mentoring as a big brother.

I can't see how this event does not rate a mention in the "TSA Week in Review" recap.

What is TSA doing to rid its ranks of thieves, thugs, and perverts Bob?

One last thing. This CAPTCHA is just not usable. I tried the spoken tool and the sounds are so distorted to be unrecognizable. The written form is no better. Fix it or remove it!

Anonymous said...

So here is this week's accounting of the minuscule number of guns, weapons, or items resembling dangerous items that the TSA has found, among the millions of passengers it screened.

But not a word about Michelle Dunaj, or any of the other recent "incidents" that clearly spotlight TSA's lack of integrity, competence, and leadership. I suppose this silence means that TSA leadership is so completely arrogant that they don't feel any need to respond.

The silence can only suggest that John Pistole believes that victims who suffer from the inappropriate conduct of incompetent and uncaring "officers" are simply an unavoidable consequence of effective security screening, as the TSA defines it. We're at War, and war inevitably claims innocent casualties from friendly fire. The victims' complaints are thus nothing more than insignificant noise irrelevant to the TSA's Mission, so there's no need to waste any resources even acknowledging them.

When your motto is "Do You Want To Fly Today?", I suppose there's no need to care whether "officers" actually know the rules and treat passengers "professionally." As long as they find and report their weekly quota of contraband, they can do anything they want. Including stealing passengers' belongings, taking bribes to ignore smuggled drugs, and even harassing passengers to generate an impressive quantity of "referrals" for the classified PowerPoint charts.

Still, I suppose we should be appropriately grateful that TSA screeners kept 31 loaded guns off of airplanes. But as always, the items Bob so proudly crows about finding are ferromagnetic, and could have been found by the systems and people in place before 9/11, without the War on Liquids, the Shoe Circus, the irradiating nude-o-scopes, or the patting down of passengers' "resistance."

Indeed, if the newspaper article linked in an earlier comment is accurate, the TSA are finding fewer guns than their predecessors found in 1985. But that's not really a meaningful comparison. It's impossible to tell whether it means the TSA are less effective at finding weapons, or simply that far fewer passengers are carrying guns.

Again as always, this week's minuscule number of "finds" among the millions of screened passengers can only argue against the supposed need for bloated, arrogant, intrusive agency that exempts itself from the laws and restrictions that apply to the rest of the government.

Keep up the good work, TSA. You always do.

Chip and Andy said...

33 guns but how many terrorists?

Anonymous said...

"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."

That was nice to hear from the TSA. Alex Jone's likes to make it seam like the TSA is out to get you, and while some agents might be overzealous, I think most of them are just doing their job. Personally, I would still fly if there was no TSA at all, but as long as they are around, I am glad this is their atitude towards the job.

RB said...

Bob, as of 11/4/2012 7:30 AM CST you posted a total of 7 comments to the latest thread.

How many comments including the one I submitted were not posted?

Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice how they took credit in this post for discovering an item found by the cleaning staff at the airport? Are you guys really that desperate?

Anonymous said...

Chip and Andy said...
33 guns but how many terrorists?

Chip and Andy.... I don't care if they are terrorists or not..Do you read the news? do I need someone who may fly off the handle (no pun intended) for either no apparant reason or because he hates his mother, father, wife, brother, just got fired, etc who happens to be sitting next to me on the the plane to have a gun? No...I don't think so. Planes are enclosed spaces, there is not many places to run and hide from a maniac who is intent on harming people... for any reason. Keep the guns, knives and any other weapens OFF the planes. I travel almost weekly... thank you TSA for keeping weapons off planes !!

Anonymous said...

That cane seems to be making the rounds...or are there just alot of them out there??

Anonymous said...

All the positive, supportive comments are from "Anonymous". What a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

So why do you need full body scans again? You never seem to get anything dangerous using them.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't look like anything you couldn't have caught with pre-9/11 security.

Anonymous said...

To bad the TSA is not on the ballot on November 6th...

Anonymous said...

How many guns flew? Please publish updated success rates for your screening.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob..when are we going to have a few words from TSA concerning Michelle Dunaj? It's been weeks since this lady's abuse was reported and we still haven't heard anything from TSA. In fact we haven't heard anything from TSA on any of the reported TSA crimes and abuses that have been reported in the news. Are you folks just going to ignore these reports or are they indefensable? I suspect TSA considers these reported incidents to be just another day at the office. For those who don't know about Michelle Dunaj may I suggest you Google this lady's name and read about her treatment at the hands of TSA and ask yourself three questions.....1. Is this the right way to treat a terminally ill person? 2. Why would she make up a story such as this? 3. Why no response or explaination from TSA? Hope you have a nice day hiding under your desk...

Anonymous said...

Suggestion: The TSA needs to start putting a "did you check your firearm?" slide (just a slide, NOT an audio to avoid freaking out the anti-gun nuts) on the endless repeat video played on the 3-1-1-travel display.

Anonymous said...

Sorry....I'm just not buying this all. I don't believe that all of these things are being brought into airports by passingers.

And those who say TSA screeners are respectful......I guess if you are a sheeple, you get their "respect" to your face while they are laughing behind your back.

RB said...

So for another week TSA found things that did not require the use of the overly expensive and possibly dangerous to human health Whole Body Strip Search Machines.

We also know that based on past testing that TSA misses upwards of 70% of such items so how comfortable should we be that this is all the items that went through a TSA checkpoint?

This TSA Blog is suppose to be for discussion. Why doesn't TSA mention what it is doing to remove the less than desirables from the TSA employee pool, guys such as this person,

TSA Screener Arrested For Alleged Child Rape?

Doesn't it seem like the public would like to know what TSA is doing to keep the us safe from such people seeing as how TSA employees can apparently conduct pat downs that make direct physical contact with peoples genitals?

I know I do!

So what gives TSA? Is this blog to be used for nothing more than giving us a tally of the 30% of things you found or for a discussion of travel security?


Lastly the audio CAPTCHA is so distorted that it is not useable. The written CAPTCHA is so distorted that it is not usable.

Fix the CAPTCHA or find some other means to provide public access to this taxpayer funded operation. Also since this is a taxpayer funded effort CENSORSHIP OF CITIZENS COMMENTS IS A CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION.


Copy retained to enforce First Amendment Rights.

Wintermute said...

"Chip and Andy.... I don't care if they are terrorists or not..Do you read the news? do I need someone who may fly off the handle (no pun intended) for either no apparant reason or because he hates his mother, father, wife, brother, just got fired, etc who happens to be sitting next to me on the the plane to have a gun? No...I don't think so. Planes are enclosed spaces, there is not many places to run and hide from a maniac who is intent on harming people... for any reason. Keep the guns, knives and any other weapens OFF the planes. I travel almost weekly... thank you TSA for keeping weapons off planes !!"

Except that the failure rate is ~70%, which means for 30 or so found, 70 or so made it on. So that potential maniac sitting next to you may have already had his gun on the plane. Did you get shot? Did the plane fall out of the sky? So yes, it DOES matter if they were terrorists or not.

Anonymous said...

It is incredible the things the TSA doesn't like. I really don't see the damage a nose cone could do. I think it is out of an irrational fear to create an illusion of security. For example, when I was in 8th grade and and went through a security checkpoint I was stopped and taken aside, as a minor, because my school backpack was suspicious. I had big binoculars (brought to go stargazing on the trip along with star charts)) and wire spiral notebooks. The TSA officer took my binoculars out of my bag and was unable to identify them as binoculars. To the TSA I, then a geeky 13 year old American girl (about 7 years after 9/11), with my binoculars and wire spiral notebooks, was so suspicious that they had to take me over and chem swab my school backpack. I was so offended because it was bad enough I got made fun of back home but to be accused of wanting to do illegal activities was so overreacting. I mean what did pulling me over without even saying anything to my parents to see that there was absolutely nothing wrong prove? What did the treatment of Michelle Dunaj prove? I think, though the TSA is helpful and protective, that they should re-evaluate what it needs to be safe. Often things will be okay if you don't stress out over every little thing!

Anonymous said...

To all you who seem to be having a hard tome figuring out the Captcha... if you cant read it just click on the circular arrow next to the box you are supposed to write what you see in and the Captcha will change. Keep clicking until you find one that is easy to read. Simple.

Keep up the great work TSA! We love you and your mission!!

Anonymous said...

You guys aren't behind that x-ray machine. You do not see the images that come onto that screen, so how could you really say that these items aren't coming through our checkpoints? You think that this world is all sugarplums and gumdrops? Reality check, there are people out there that want to take down aircrafts and such. If TSA weren't in place, it would be easier to do so. Take TSA away for a week, then tell me we aren't important. I can guarantee that somebody would target our aviation system. On the note of the thieves, liars, and cheaters, there are those people out there that do that, but out of everyone I have worked with during my time at TSA, I can honestly say they are good people. People get greedy and they think they won't get caught. Look at it this way, those people will NEVER have a federal job again. So in the end, they screwed themselves over.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"If TSA weren't in place, it would be easier to do so. Take TSA away for a week, then tell me we aren't important."

No one said "no security." Give us pre-9/11 security, plus hardened cockpit doors. And while you're at it, make sure everything that goes into a cargo hold is x-rayed.

"I can guarantee that somebody would target our aviation system."

Unless you plan on targeting the aviation system yourself, you have no possible way to guarantee this.

"On the note of the thieves, liars, and cheaters, there are those people out there that do that, but out of everyone I have worked with during my time at TSA, I can honestly say they are good people."

The problem is that the TSA hires people without background checks, then places them in position of "authority."

"People get greedy and they think they won't get caught. Look at it this way, those people will NEVER have a federal job again. So in the end, they screwed themselves over."

In the meantime, the flying public gets screwed over by them?