Austin-Bergstrom TSA agents fired for theft



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Posted on July 31, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 5:40 PM

AUSTIN -- The Transportation Security Administration is under scrutiny following a scathing federal audit released this week. It found agency officers stealing, are often late for work and negligent on the job.

The KVUE Defenders wanted to know how many TSA officers were found breaking the rules at Texas airports.

From 2003 to January of this year, the TSA fired 34 of its officers for stealing passengers property. That includes four TSA officers who worked at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The state's two largest airports reported the most. Dallas-Fort Worth International reported 14 TSA officers were fired for theft. In Houston, the George Bush Intercontinental Airport reported 11 employees fired for theft.

The TSA did not provide a list of the items stolen, but an ABC News Brian Ross investigation clearly showed last year that some officers were on the hunt for electronics.

The investigation showed a TSA officer who took an iPad and another agency employee who was caught stashing a laptop under a ticket counter.

Earlier Wednesday, lawmakers in Washington D.C. held hearings about concerns some agents were compromising security.

Representative Jeff Duncan says this type of behavior cannot be tolerated. “Stealing is stealing, and these are instances of stealing from American travelers. According to the recommended penalty range on TSA's table of offenses and penalty for theft or unauthorized taking, a letter of reprimand is not included," Duncan said.

TSA's chief said they are working to implement changes to prevent this kind of behavior in the future.