Jet Blue Bag Handler Steals Sergeant’s Checked Handgun

jet-blue_logoRemember Jeffrey Goldberg?

Goldberg is a correspondent with The Atlantic that long ago came out against most of our current methods of airport security as useless displays of “security theater.”

If I remember correctly, one of the things Goldberg criticized was how pilots and flight attendants – who have virtually no access to passengers’ bags and undergo extensive background checks – are screened more heavily on a daily basis than the baggage handlers – who do have private access to passengers’ bags and are not as extensively monitored through background checks and daily screenings.

Well, fast forward to this little incident:

[Tamarcus] Hines, who is employed as a baggage handler by Jet Blue, was working at Terminal 5 in John F. Kennedy Airport, when he allegedly broke into a suitcase containing a secured handgun that had been lawfully checked as luggage by an NYPD sergeant before boarding Flight 59 to Orlando.

After breaking into the suitcase, Hines allegedly broke into a locked gun box inside the suitcase and stole an unloaded 9mm handgun, ammunition and a gun holster.

Once the sergeant retrieved her luggage and realized her weapon had been stolen, she notified police back in New York and the theft was traced back to Hines, who eventually lead officers to the sewer where he discarded a duffel bag containing the gun, ammunition, and holster. (Why did you steal it in the first place?).

Now, obviously, this is a case of a baggage handler taking something out of a passenger’s bag but it clearly highlights how easily something could just as easily be placed in a passenger’s bag.

You can read Goldberg’s article from The Atlantic that started it all here. He also appeared on Colbert:

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