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 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.

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