A convicted Transportation Security Administration officer tells ABC News he was part of a “culture” of indifference that allowed corrupt employees to prey on passengers’ luggage and personal belongings with impunity, thanks to lax oversight and tip-offs from TSA colleagues. “It was very commonplace, very,” said Pythias Brown, a former officer at Newark Liberty International Airport who admits he stole $800,000 worth of items from luggage and security checkpoints over four years. “It was very convenient to steal,” he said.
Brown’s crime spree came to an end only because he tried to sell a camera he stole from the luggage of a CNN producer on E-bay but forgot to remove all of the news networks’ identifying stickers. “It became so easy, I got complacent,” Brown said. He is one of almost 400 TSA officers who have been fired for stealing from passengers in the past decade. “TSA is probably the worst personnel manager that we have in the entire federal government,” said Rep. John Mica (R-FL), chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “It is an outrage to the public and, actually, to our aviation security system.”