Friday, May 4, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Plastic Dagger Found With Body Scanner

Plastic dagger, spear gun, inert grenades, axe, knives, infectious substance.
Plastic Dagger Found With Body Scanner – A passenger at DTW had a plastic dagger hidden in the hemline of her shirt. This is an example of the body scanner showing its strength by finding non-metallic weapons.

Knife Mounted on Walker
Knife Mounted on Walker: Yes, the kind of walker that assists one with walking... Usually, the only attachments you see on walkers are tennis balls, but this one had a knife mounted on the front. Just another example of why we take a closer look at even the most common of items. Great job to the Officers at New York's JFK.

Tomahawk – Denver (DEN) Officers discovered a tomahawk in a carry-on bag. Not a Tomahawk missile, but a bladed projectile.

Replica Grenades and Mines –It’s been another busy week for grenades and mines. Inert grenades were discovered by Officers at Tampa (TPA) and Savannah (SAV). Training Claymore mines complete with shrapnel were discovered at Newark (EWR). You would think that these items would be a rare find, but apparently that’s not the case. I know I’ve said it over and over, but for anybody who may be new to reading this post, we realize that replicas are totally harmless, however, we don’t know that until we’ve gone through all of the motions. Read here and here for more information on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints.

Biohazard – You can imagine the look on the Officer’s face in Austin (AUS) when they discovered a label on a package that read “Class 6 Biohazard.” After Police and Austin Fire responded, they learned the item was a water and borax solution.

Spearguns are Prohibited – I remember when I used to train TSOs. They would laugh when I mentioned Spearguns while going over prohibited items. They couldn’t believe that anybody would actually try to bring one on a plane. Well…in addition to all of the other ones we’ve found, the latest was discovered at Raleigh-Durham (RDU).

Officers at Salt Lake City (SLC) and LaGuardia (LGA) found a total of three throwing stars.
Throwing Stars – Your Kung Fu is no match for our Officers. With a few acrobatic moves and defensive measures, Officers at Salt Lake City (SLC) and LaGuardia (LGA) found a total of three throwing stars. Good job, grasshoppers.
People Say the Darndest Things - Here are examples 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 has to be evacuated:  

  • While waiting in line to be screened at St. Louis (STL) a passenger nodded to another unidentified passenger, and stated to a TSO, “You better check this guy good, he has explosives.” 
  • A passenger within earshot of our Behavior Detection Officers at Tucson (TUS) stated: “I did not want you to notice the bomb in my shoe.”
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, pepper spray, quite the assortment of knives, ammunition, and batons.

8 loaded firearms.
4 loaded firearms.
9 loaded firearms.
Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.
23 firearms discovered. 22 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.

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