Larceny at Logan
Hank Investigates: Larceny at Logan
Jewelry, briefcases, laptops, purses and electronics. Where did and all this stuff go?
We obtained never seen before video, access to restricted areas plus every claim of every item travelers say went MIA at the airport.
But who's really watching and why do only certain passengers get reimbursed for their losses?
Long lines, flight delays and now there's something else you need to worry about when you fly: getting ripped off.
Tina Napolitano, passenger
"You entrust your bags to these people and somebody should do something about it."
We obtained every claim of every item passengers say was swiped from somewhere at Logan airport. Wallets, cash and watches from checkpoint bins. Briefcases, laptops and purses from gate areas. From inside checked bags, jewelry, cell phones, clothing. For the Napolitano family it was their video camera.
Georgia Napolitano, passenger
"To see that it wasn’t there when we opened the bag was very upsetting."
We found hundreds and hundreds of claims: to the airlines who transport your bags, to TSA who search your bags and to the state police who patrol the airport. At Logan the total is tens of thousands of dollars a year.
Behind closed doors, restricted access, we went where no outside cameras have ever been allowed. Here's where TSA not only checks every bag for explosives but actually opens suspicious suitcases and searches them.
But Logan is one of the few airports covering TSA with cameras 100 percent, recording every search.
And Watch. What you're seeing is surveillance video we obtained. This is a TSA baggage screener opening a passenger’s bag and look what he finds. A laptop. And what will happen now?
This screener put the laptop back--and leaves a notice saying he's been there.
George Nacarra, TSA, Federal Security Director, Logan International Airport
"More likely if a theft actually occurred it did not happen when TSA had control of the bag."
Last year Logan passengers told TSA almost a quarter million dollars worth of their stuff was missing from checked bags.
TSA admits: If their video can't prove their screeners are innocent they may pay a claim.
But least year they only paid out about $11,000.
What's more they say not one Logan TSA employee has ever been caught stealing.
But if you complain to the airlines, the rules are different.
Jan Brogan, passenger
"There are strangers rummaging through your luggage for what they can steal."
Jan wanted the airline to pay for her missing camera. But the airline emailed back: sorry, the missing camera is your Jan's problem.
We found most airlines may pay if they lose your bags, but they all make it clear: They are not responsible for valuables packed inside them.
So where did Jan's camera and all this other stuff go?
Airline companies insist they monitor their employees and their people aren't guilty of stealing.
David Castelveter, Air Transport Association
"Instances of theft are extremely rare relative to the number of passengers who fly."
State Police too have many sections of Logan under surveillance, and they insist only 10-percent of "stolen" items are actually swiped. Did you report a Prada wallet? A designer tote bag? Tennis rackets? They weren't stolen. We found them, and a lot more in the State Police lost and found.
Two things: Never, never, never pack anything valuable. And if you're missing something, report it instantly to the airlines, the TSA and the state police.
(Copyright (c) 2007 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)