ABC news uses location services to track stolen iPad to the home of a TSA officer

ABC news set up a sting at various main stream airports by leaving behind a total of ten iPads to see what happens to them when they get into the hands of TSA officers. The sting was setup after reports of 100’s of thefts by TSA officers from airports around the country. Thankfully nine of the iPads were returned to their owners as the TSA officers followed agency guidelines and immediately contacted the owners and returned them. Unfortunately one of the iPads was not returned and the TSA officer from Orlando airport decided to take it home.

The iPad was last seen on video in the hands of TSA officer Andy Ramirez and then it went on a thirty mile journey which was tracked using the iPads location services. ABC news waited for two weeks before turning up at the home of Ramirez who denied having the iPad at first. ABC news activated the audible tone to assist in finding a lost iPhone and iPad using the Find my iPad app and then he produced the iPad in question and turned it over claiming that his wife had picked it up at the airport.

"I'm so embarrassed," he told ABC News. "My wife says she got the iPad and brought it home," he said. Moments later, his wife appeared at the door to say she had found it and "no told my husband." Asked how that was possible given that ABC News tape showed him handling the iPad at the security checkpoint, Ramirez shut the door and has not responded to questions since.

The TSA has since parted company with Ramirez claiming it has a zero-tolerance policy for theft from passengers. It has already terminated the employment of 381 officers over the last nine years and eleven so far this year too.

Source: ABC News


UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

  • Embarrassing!
  • Well at least 9 out of 10 were returned. Maybe there's still hope the human race (especially the TSA) after all.
  • Yup yup EDIT: Then again, I just watched the video. It was quite damning.
  • That's nothing new, it happens a lot, the TSA and other workers take a lot of stuff. I was a victim of that before two times but the second time the guy was caught.
  • That TSA agent is pathetic.
  • This is why I want a guest account on my devices, so that people don't restore them before they can be tracked to get in. Is why I leave the guest account on my iMac on.
  • Guess accounts can be created for the iPad? I never had nor used one before that's why I'm asking.
  • No there isn't, that is why dlove said they wanted it. Either Apple needs to allow us to create Guest accounts on our iPads and iPhones or they need to find a way that when the device is locked using Find My ... app that it disables the dock connector or disables the ability to restore the device. Also it should be able to disable the device from being turned off, forcing the theif to return it or break it.
  • Awww man... sorta feel bad for the TSA agent. Not that I endorse crime, but "abandoning" such items is always going to tempt somebody to take it. These TV networks are really just baiting folks, in my opinion. It would've been different if they caught the agent taking the device after watching a passenger run off to catch a flight and accidentally left it behind or something. But either way, if company policy requires they turn all found items in, they're breaking the rules. Their termination is their own fault. I'm just not a fan of embarrassing regular people on national TV like that. At the end of the day he has a family to support. This can ruin his life. Smh
  • It's kinda his responsibility to take care of his family. iPad's don't put food on the table but his job does. He should have thought about his priorities.
  • +1
  • Awww... the poor TSA man who stole someone's iPad and then lied about is embarassed huh? Think about it, this is just one instance. Imagine how many other things have probably gone missing or unclaimed? If I saw an iPad that some poor sap left on the airport, I wouldn't steal it because I am a decent person and was raised better. I would turn it on, see if there is any contact info or email, and if I find a number, I'll take it home and wait for him to come pick it up, or leave it at the Lost and Found. Think about it if you were the person who lost an iPad? I feel sorry for you Americans, you don't seem to have a shred of decency left. It's all about money to you folks.
  • Can't fix stupid. It's forever.
  • Isn't this called entrapment?
  • I don't think it would be. Here's why I think why. Let's say you "lost" something at the airport after a TSA agent searched you. You could suspect that agent stole the item from you but you aren't sure, or you don't have proof. So you decide to go back to the airport with lets say an iPhone or iPad and "lose" it on purpose. If it just so happens that the same guy took the device home with him, and you could track it to his house, you could call the police, go down there, prove the device is yours and that you forgot it, and he could be charged for stealing. An example of entrapment would be, for example, let's say you were a police office. It happens everywhere that people drive to the bar, they make not get drunk there but could have a few drinks and will possibly drive home. Everyone knows that if a person has gone to a bar, they likely had something to drink and if they drove to the bar, there is chance they will leave in their vehicle. If you are a police officer, you can't sit outside that bar, watch a person drive up, park and go inside, then wait for him to come out and nail him for a DUI. That's entrapment. I could be wrong but that's my understanding of it.
  • That's not entrapment, any more than waiting with a speed gun by the interstate is. A guy leaving the bar drunk, did it of his own accord. Entrapment would be to, say, talk to a guy in the bar, and suggest he buy drugs or stolen goods from you .
  • No, entrapment would be if they were police or law enforcement officers posing undercover and essentially forcing you to commit a crime, often with threats or intimidation. For example, planting drugs in an alley, posing as a junkie and then telling someone that there is drugs there and to tell them to go get it etc. And then the second they pick it up, arrest them. That would be entrapment. This is nothing more than a civilian who left their iPad somewhere and rather than return it to the lost and found office, this officer took it home and lied about it. It doesn't matter if it was part of an experiment or a joke. If I purposely leave my car running and the door open, and you drive off in it, you are still stealing my car. This man is now charged with a felony under federal law. He will never work in any type of federal or governmental agency ever, and his name will be put on numerous blacklists. He can kiss the comfy job, easy pay and benefits goodbye. And for what? An ipad worth a few hundred dollars. His legal expenses will probably be worth 15 times that much.
  • Way to go to throw your wife in front of the bus you thieving coward!
  • It's America, what do you expect? All those people see is "green" these days. They're so bent on telling the rest of the world how to live and behave, they don't see that they live in one of the most morally, culturally, socially, and now economically bankrupt countries in the world.