Friday, April 6, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Hidden Compartments Found in Everyday Items


 Hidden Compartments Found in Everyday Items:  On the surface, the items looked like a bottle of water, a flashlight, an energy drink and a can of spray lubricant. However, each of these items had secret compartments. The flashlight compartment contained a baggie of cocaine. These items were discovered in checked baggage at Portland, Maine (PWM). It’s just another example to show you how everyday household items can be used to conceal prohibted items.

Hidden Compartments Found in Everyday Items:  On the surface, the items looked like a bottle of water, a flashlight, an energy drink and a can of spray lubricant. However, each of these items had secret compartments. The flashlight compartment contained a baggie of cocaine. These items were discovered in checked baggage at Portland, Maine (PWM). It’s just another example to show you how everyday household items can be used to conceal prohibted items.

Dishing the Dirt: Two knives were discovered concealed inside a bag of dirt at Pasco (PSC). Some might call this a “dirty trick.”

Dishing the Dirt: Two knives were discovered concealed inside a bag of dirt at Pasco (PSC). Some might call this a “dirty trick.”

Soundboard Concealing Heavy Metal: In this case, the heavy metal would be a gun and 50 rounds of ammunition that was found duct taped to the inside of the console. This was found in checked baggage at Des Moines (DSM).

Soundboard Concealing Heavy Metal: In this case, the heavy metal would be a gun and 50 rounds of ammunition that was found duct taped to the inside of the console. This was found in checked baggage at Des Moines (DSM).

Mayonnaise: While mayo can often be the perfect ingredient to add moisture and flavor to a sandwich, it cannot conceal items from our X-rays. At New York Kennedy (JFK), a utility tool/knife was found submerged in a full jar of mayo. The jar of mayo was a poor choice by the way, since it’s prohibited due to our liquid policy.

Audio Booster Concealment Method: Officers at Nashville (BNA) discovered a knife concealed in the battery tray of an audio booster for headphones. Put this one up there along with the peanut butter and mayonnaise concealment methods as a fail. 

Loaded guns, knives.

People Say the Darndest Things: Here is an example of what not to say at the airport. Statements like this not only delay the people who said them, they can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint has to be evacuated:

A passenger at Springfield (SPI) told our X-ray Officer: “I have a grenade with two pins in my bag.” No grenade was discovered and the passenger stated they were just upset about a flight cancelation the previous night.

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, an boatload of knives, ammunition, and batons.

9 loaded guns.
Firearms: Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

27 firearms discovered. 24 were loaded.
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 in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport.

 
If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA