Airport officer accused of stealing traveler's cash

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 02, 2012 4:04 PM
Airport officer accused of stealing traveler's cash

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A security officer at John F. Kennedy International Airport has been arrested on suspicion of stealing $5,000 in cash from a passenger's jacket as it passed on a conveyor belt, police said on Thursday.

The passenger, traveling through a screening area in Terminal 4 on Wednesday night, noticed the cash was missing and complained to security officers, according to a spokesman for the Port Authority Police Department, which oversees law enforcement at the airport.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security officer, Alexandra Schmid, 31, was seen on a security tape taking the cash out of the jacket, wrapping it in a glove and heading toward a restroom, said Port Authority police spokesman Al Della Fave.

"We have not located that currency yet," he said. "We assume she may have passed it off to someone else."

The passenger flew out of the country later on Wednesday, the TSA said.

Schmid will be charged with grand larceny in the third degree, Della Fave said.

Schmid could not immediately be reached for comment, and it was unclear whether she had retained an attorney.

The TSA said Schmid, who has worked for the TSA for more than four years, would face disciplinary action. It did not elaborate but said employees charged with theft are usually fired.

"TSA aggressively investigates all allegations of misconduct and, when infractions are discovered, moves swiftly to end the federal careers of offenders," Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

(Editing By Ellen Wulfhorst and Daniel Trotta)