On a single day last month, a screener at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport helped herself to $100 in cash from a 16-year-old passenger’s bag while another swiped a senior citizen’s cell phone. And that’s only the froth on JFK's crime wave: earlier this year, cops arrested two screeners there for stealing $160,000 from checked luggage.
These are only reported thefts – in two senses of the word: reported to the cops and by the media — at one airport over a span of just 8 months. (Nor do the cops, the media, and the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] recognize the millions of petty larcenies the agency commits daily when it forces passengers to “voluntarily surrender” their shampoo and pocket knives or forego expensive flights.) It seems a week can’t pass without yet another heist at the nation’s airports, courtesy of the TSA. Thank God the agency has a “zero-tolerance policy for theft,” as its flacks remind us after every such proof to the contrary: imagine if it encouraged plundering passengers the way it does groping them.
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