Airport Theft Incident Marred by Lack of Cameras, Says Victims

Couple says diamond ring was stolen at checkpoint, but cameras didn't capture entire screening area

Four former TSA screeners pleaded guilty last year to stealing laptops, cameras, and other items from checked baggage at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Complaints from passengers, including celebrities Chevy Chase, Joan Rivers, and Susan Lucci, that items were taken from their luggage triggered an investigation that led to the arrest in 2004 of four TSA screeners from LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The Wrights voiced dismay at how their complaint was handled, saying the TSA supervisor who was summoned to the checkpoint did not call State Police and gave them an 800 number to call to report a lost or stolen item.

But Davis said it is not standard operating procedure at Logan for TSA to call State Police every time a theft is reported by a passenger. Passengers may choose to file a complaint with the police, however.

"We will, of course, interview the screeners if they've been accused of stealing," said Davis, but she said employees aren't searched if there's insufficient evidence to warrant it.

The Wrights, who have been married for 27 years, said TSA denied their claim without a thorough investigation, leaving them with no choice but to sue.

"We felt we were in a secure area," said Janet Wright. "We followed instructions, they told us to remove items. . . . We got to the other side and one of our valuables is missing," she said.