Reporting Jack Fink
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – TSA agents watch closely over who and what gets through airport security checkpoints. But now, eight of those agents at DFW International Airport have been arrested.
They were not arrested for stealing passengers belongings, but for dealing in stolen airport employee parking placards.
TSA agents must pay money out of their own pockets to park at DFW Airport. And now one agent has been arrested on a felony charge of selling a placard to seven fellow agents, who are each charged with a misdemeanor.
Cynthia Vega, a spokeswoman for the airport says, “They have to pay $34 a month or $400 a year for the employee parking placard So in essence, they bought, we believe these employees bought the placards for $100.”
That would save the employees $300 a year.
Carrie Harmon, a TSA spokeswoman, says all eight have been placed on indefinite suspension without pay.
Vega says the airport first began its investigation back in March when American Eagle Airlines reported 129 employee parking placards went missing.
One American Eagle employee has been arrested for stealing them.
Spokeswoman Andrea Huguely says the airline has a zero tolerance policy, and that the employee no longer works there.
The airport says the airlines and other companies pay for their employees’ parking placards. But that’s not the case with the TSA agents.
Records show it’s a major sore spot for TSA union members nationwide, who are unhappy they have to pay to park at airports.
Vega says, “The shuttle bus that runs back and forth to the terminals cost money and there are administrative costs related to that as you can imagine, and someone has to pick up he tab.”
Airport police say seven of the parking placards have been recovered, which means 122 of them remain unaccounted for. That’s what detectives are still investigating, which could lead to further arrests.
Airport police aren’t identifying the suspects yet because their investigation is continuing.
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