How ABC News Used ‘Find My iPad’ to Track a Stolen iPad to TSA Agent’s Home

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Then there was the one about the TSA agent who stole an iPad and how ABC used Apple's Find My iPad (usually known as Find My iPhone) service to catch him. This story is almost a year old (spotted at reddit), but if you missed it then, you should watch it now. ABC News set up a sting with iPads and cash at airports with high incidents of missing item reports. Most of their sting plants made it through TSA and baggage screening just fine, but one iPad deliberately left behind at a checkpoint went missing. ABC News then used Find My iPad to track it down to...get this...a TSA agent's home. The agent panicked when confronted by the ABC reporter and produced the iPad. Better yet, he tried to blame it on his wife. Classy, sir.


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Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Security theater. Before Snowden, I’d have called the last 12 years of this a giant black eye on our country. But it appears to have been just a warm-up. These government people who have ben brainwashed into thinking they are doing us some kind of a favor suck. Every. Freaking. One of them.


Great find, Bryan.

As one who travels (too) frequently, I have been the victim of security persons nicking any number of tech items from my checked in and carry-on luggage; most notably London Heathrow (e.g. an attempt at stealing my Powerbook back in the day), and at Washington Dulles (where I’ve lost a number of USB external hard drives I use for backups). What I wished for on the last occasion was for a ‘find my hard drive’ function similar to Apple’s ‘find my iDevice’ for these portable drives.

When I complained in writing to the TSA of this latest theft, I received a letter from them claiming they had no control over foreign airports where a number of such thefts occurs. I had no idea that Dulles was a foreign airport. Dubious, and owning a house in the USA, I exercised my right to right to my elected representative.

Shortly thereafter, there were crackdowns at a number US airports, including if memory serves, Washington Dulles. No causal relationship, I’m sure, but it was mildly cathartic. I haven’ lost any tech kit since then at Dulles.

Now, if only I could get off of the high security risk list. Hope springs eternal.


At my home, I can put locks on all the doors, I can buy an alarm, in some countries I could buy a gun, and so do everything to protect my property. At an airport, I am supposed to give a stranger access to my luggage.

Because airport security creates a situation where I can’t protect my property, I think it is only reasonable that the legal protection that I have should be a lot stronger. With ordinary theft, there are different classes of the crime: Take something that is unprotected, take something that is locked away, take something by force or threat of force against a person, these are punished differently. “Theft from a position of trust” should receive a punishment much higher than ordinary theft.

Lee Dronick

  I had no idea that Dulles was a foreign airport.

Despite the numerous Representatives there, Washington DC doesn’t really represent the rest of the Country. smile

  “Theft from a position of trust” should receive a punishment much higher than ordinary theft.

That is a good idea. Also put comprehensive security and surveillance cameras in baggage handling areas, checkpoints, plus better vetting of airport and TSA personnel.


Clifton Patrick

TSA says it has a zero tolerance for theft, and therefore fires the thieves. Why are the crooks not in jail?


  “‘Theft from a position of trust’ should receive a punishment much higher than ordinary theft.”

It would be pointless. Congress would pass the law and then exempt government employees from having to comply with it.

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