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By Laura Cox

PUBLISHED:20:13 EST, 28  September 2012| UPDATED:01:12 EST, 29 September 2012

It was a scandal that rocked the nation – a  New York Transport Security Agency security officer found guilty of stealing  close to $1million worth of belongings from passenger luggage.

But according to the convicted officer, the  problem was even more widespread than ever feared and is still going on  today.

In a candid tell-all interview Pythias Brown  told ABC  News thefts from aircraft baggage  were ‘commonplace’, allowed to prevail by a ‘culture’ of  indifference.

Scroll down  for video

'Too easy': Pythias Brown said thefts from aircraft baggage were 'commonplace', allowed to prevail by a 'culture' of indifference‘Too easy’: Pythias Brown said thefts from aircraft  baggage were ‘commonplace’, allowed to prevail by a ‘culture’ of  indifference

The former Newark Airport employee confessed  to stealing more than $800,000 worth of items over a four-year-period, ending  only when he tried to sell on Ebay a camera pinched from the bag of a CNN  producer and failing to remove all of the network’s identifying stickers.

It was game over for Brown and he was convicted in 2009, sentenced to three years in prison, at the time  offering 80  cameras, video games and computers on the auction site.

Tempting?: A TSA security officer goes through a passenger's bag suitcase (Stock image)Tempting?: A TSA security officer goes through a  passenger’s bag suitcase (Stock image)

Up until then it had been ‘very convenient to  steal’ he said. ‘It became so easy, I got complacent.

‘It was like being on drugs, it was. I was  like, “What am I doing?’ but the next day I was right back at it”.’

Shocking though his actions were, Brown was  not alone.

381 TSA officers have been fired for stealing  from passengers in the last nine years, including 11 so far this  year.

Brown told ABC how he would frequently work  alone, assigned to screening luggage behind ticket counters, and be told when  overhead surveillance cameras, preventing theft, were not working.

He was never asked about suspicious behaviour  and was given a heads-up by a former colleague when bosses started to get wise  to his misdemeanors.

Learning how to read X-ray scans,  Brown  was able to pick and chose which bags to target for his loot, based on content,  and he figured out how to pick TSA luggage locks without being  detected.

Speaking for the first time since being  released from prison earlier this year, Brown told ABC he is going public about  his crimes in an attempt to warn passengers what goes on behind the  scenes.

Poor morale and low pay put temptation in the  way of many of his fellow officers, he said.

Shocking: Almost 400 TSA security officers have been fired over luggage theft in less than a decade (stock image)Shocking: Almost 400 TSA security officers have been  fired over luggage theft in less than a decade (stock image)

‘They didn’t think it was okay, but they did  it and said, “I don’t care. They ain’t paying me. They’re treating me wrong”,’  he said. ‘But then when people started seeing they could profit off of it, then  it became massive,’

In a statement, TSA insisted that it has ‘a  zero-tolerance policy for theft and terminates any employee who is determined to  have stolen from a passenger.’

The agency added that the number of officers  fired ‘represents less than one-half of one percent of officers that have been  employed’, denying that theft is a widespread problem among  employees.

Watch the video  here:

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One thought on “‘I was addicted to stealing… and everyone else did it too’: Ex-TSA agent reveals epidemic of thefts from passengers as he admits he took almost $1MILLION in possessions

  1. […] ‘I was addicted to stealing… and everyone else did it too’: Ex-TSA agent reveals e… ( Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Financial/economic information, Illuminati/Terrorism/Corruption, Political and tagged ABC News, Brown, EBAY, iPad, John Mica, Newark Liberty International Airport, Transportation Security Administration, TSA. Bookmark the permalink. ← Another domino falls as Hollande pushes France into depression […]