This makes me sad--and mad!

July 17, 2007 0 Comments A+ a-

Pilot Accused Of Stealing Passenger's iPod
TSA Says Pilot Claimed It Would Be Confiscated

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Mesa Air pilot is accused of stealing a passenger's iPod at a security checkpoint at Jacksonville International Airport, police said.

Police said Christopher Newton, 34, was spotted on camera on Thursday taking a iPod out of someone else's container while going through a security checkpoint.

A police officer was summoned after a passenger reported to the Transportation Security Administration that his iPod had been taken at the security checkpoint.

A TSA agent showed the office a tape of an airline pilot placing a container, used to hold passenger's personal items during screening, over another container, then removing an item from the lower container, the report said.

The top container was used to conceal his actions, according to the report. The pilot then placed the item that he had removed into his computer bag, the report said. The report said the pilot made no attempt to contact the rightful owner or security personnel.

Newton was in the cockpit of United Express Flight 7332 when officers found him and asked him to deplane, according to the police report.

Newton admitted to having the iPod his possession, the report said.

He claimed he took the iPod because he said it would just be confiscated by airport employees, according to the report.

Newton, on police order, returned to the cockpit, retrieved the iPod and handed it over to police, the report said.

But because his flight was 15 minutes late, police allowed him to continue on, the report said.
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority Police Department said the case remains under investigation.

"We know passengers steal from passengers," said TSA spokersperson Nico Melendez. "It can happen anywhere. Fortunately, some aiports do have cameras. Workers try to keep their eyes open and urge passengers to do the same."

Mesa Air Group, Inc. is based in Mesa, Ariz.