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Salt Lake airport 12th on list of most TSA employees fired for theft

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 11:18 p.m. MDT

Traveler Brent James, left, gets some new security information from TSA's Jennifer Cowdell while going through security at Salt Lake International Airport in Salt Lake City Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said from 2003 to August 2012, 381 employees were fired for theft nationwide, including 10 at Salt Lake International Airport.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The busy holiday travel season is just around the corner, and a new report might have passengers leaving some of their expensive gadgets at home.

The TSA said from 2003 to August 2012, 381 employees were fired for theft nationwide, including 10 at Salt Lake International Airport. That places Salt Lake airport 12th on the dubious airport list of most TSA employees fired for theft.

"TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and expects all TSA employees to conduct themselves with integrity and professionalism. TSA has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace and takes appropriate action when allegations are substantiated," the agency said in a statement.

Those numbers include not just theft from passengers, but also workers stealing from other employees. The number of employees fired is less than 0.5 percent of the total agency workforce, the report noted.

A report by ABC News found 16 of the top 20 airports for theft are also some of the most-traveled airports. Topping the list is Miami International Airport, where 29 employees were fired, followed by JFK International Airport in New York City, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

Andy Thompson of Delta Air Lines said getting through security at Salt Lake City International Airport can be frustrating at times, and news that nearly 400 employees have been fired for theft nationwide made him less trusting of the TSA agents.

"That makes me even less wanting to put my wallet and phone down and my laptop, iPad, whatever there is," he said. "If you can't even trust them, then what do you do? Complain, I guess, is what we need to do."

Email: psamore@desnews.com

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