A Transportation Security Administration officer at a Florida airport is out of a job and facing possible jail time after he was accused of stealing money from a traveler’s belongings.
Alexander Shae Johnson, 22, was arrested by Orlando police Thursday night after authorities said he was caught on video stealing cash from a bag being screened at Orlando International Airport. He was charged with third-degree grand theft, according to WFTV.
The bag’s owner was selected for a pat-down search as she went though a security checkpoint. She was temporarily separated from her luggage and told police she saw Johnson standing near her bag, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The woman retrieved her luggage when the search was finished and discovered the money she had packed was missing, according to ClickOrlando.com.
She noticed a bulge in Johnson’s shirt pocket, and asked if that was his money, police said. Johnson answered that he got the money from a bank, but another agent took it from him.
Police said surveillance video showed Johnson taking the money from the passenger’s bag.
The TSA quickly fired Johnson, who had been an employee for a few months, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“TSA has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace,” the agency said in a statement, adding that it immediately reported the theft to Orlando police and “aggressively investigated.”
“TSA officers represent a professional and honorable workforce that is trained to treat passengers and their personal belongings with care and respect,” the agency said. “No exceptions will be tolerated. We immediately ended the federal career of this individual.”
Johnson was booked at Orange County Jail and released on bail.
It’s not unusual for TSA agents to be accused of stealing form passengers. The New York Post reports that nearly 400 TSA officers were fired for stealing from passengers from 2003 to 2012.