Newark Airport TSA agent charged with $700 daily theft from passengers

Well, here we go again. In what seems like a monthly report on sticky fingered TSA staff, Newark Airport earns this months dubious honor for airport with the worst offenders.

This case revolves around two TSA security screeners who worked at Newark Liberty Airport. The duo is accused of stealing up to $700 in cash every single time they worked, grabbing hundred dollar bills from passenger luggage.

Most of the victims were women heading home to India – which means the two suspects knew exactly who to target.

The two made things worse by joking about their crimes in front of their supervisors, splitting the cash under the watchful eye of security cameras and at one point, even sticking up their middle finger to the cameras.

The first of the two suspects was arrested last month, and spent a month cooperating with Port Authority Police and the Department of Homeland Security. At the end of that month, police arrested 41 year old TSA supervisor Michael Arato. His accomplice has not been named or charged yet. In the complaint, Arato is on record saying “he was angry at the women for “leaving this country with our money.”

Both men have been employed at Newark since 2002 and began stealing last year. According to a TSA spokeswoman, 23 TSA agents have so far been fired for stealing from passenger luggage, and Newark is so far the leader in thefts – with one security screener admitting to over $400,000 in stolen property.

[Photo from: Flickr/Slasher-Fun]