Friday, September 28, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 16 oz. Can of Black Powder Discovered at Anchorage

Black Powder - While resolving an explosives alarm in Anchorage (ANC), Officers discovered a 16 oz. can of black pack powder in checked baggage along with 1,400 primers. 

Grenades
Grenades Discovered at Glacier Park
















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 bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint, 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.
  • 3 inert grenades were discovered in checked bag at Glacier Park (GPI) resulting in an evacuation of the baggage room as well as the public side of the airport. Some news reports cited the grenades as “Halloween props”, but to our Officers, they looked like 3 live grenades. 
  •  An inert training detonator was discovered during a pat-down search after a Charleston (CHS) passenger alarmed the body scanner. The passenger was an instructor who forgot the item was in his pocket.

An inert training detonator was discovered during a pat-down search after a Charleston (CHS) passenger alarmed the body scanner. The passenger was an instructor who forgot the item was in his pocket.
Detonator Discovered at Charleston















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.

A switchblade and a boot knife were detected under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles (IAD).























  • A switchblade and a boot knife were detected under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles (IAD).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Las Vegas (LAS).

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:
  • As a gate agent was approaching an unattended bag at El Paso (ELP), the owner of the bag stated “I better get it before it explodes.”
Stun Guns –  Four stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation: Pensacola (PNS), Dallas Love (DAL), Chicago Midway (MDW), and Roanoke (ROA).

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… 

Machete
Discovered at Albany (ALB)







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.

29 loaded guns discovered at TSA checkpoints.





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 have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.


TSA Has Zero Tolerance on Theft - iPad Theft



ABC ran a story yesterday on how an iPad left behind at one of our airports was tracked via GPS to an Officer’s home two weeks later. The Officer is no longer with TSA. 

We are well too aware of how the actions of a few can influence the perception the public has of our agency. It’s truly a shame, because the majority of our workforce meets the expectations set forth to them - integrity, professionalism and hard work. The reputation of TSA is adversely affected by instances like this one, where employees do not display integrity.

To put theft at TSA in perspective, between May 1, 2003 through September 2012, a total of 381 TSOs have been terminated for theft, which represents less than 1/2 of one percent (0.4%) of officers that have been employed by the agency. This extremely small percentage does not reflect the dedication and professionalism of our workforce as a whole.



If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.