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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 14, 2005
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The Investigators
We uncover who's looting your luggage
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Before you hit the airport traveling this holiday season, The Investigators uncover looted luggage. Luggage ransacked, your valuables gone. Who's to blame? Well, it turns out there's no easy answer. Could it be the screeners? Airline personnel? For passengers with looted luggage there's simply no where to turn.

You have wonderful memories from your trip, but when you return home, those memories fade fast, as you notice your luggage has been ransacked. Bob Rodriguez, who is legally blind, says he became a victim at an airport security checkpoint last February.

�I didn't realize until I got to the other end of that, when I looked at my wallet, my wallet was ok, but I had 200 dollars missing."

This surveillance video appears to show a TSA screener carefully picking through the jewelry case in this bag and pocketing them when he finds them. And good luck trying to get reimbursed if something is missing.

The Eyewitness News Investigators have learned that those in charge of baggage handling haven't figured out who's responsible. The problem is there are a number of people handling your bags. You've got airline personnel who check your bags in, to those who work for the post- 9/11 transportation security administration.

�We really felt customers have been stuck in the middle of these negotiations.�

And right now the TSA and the airlines are battling over who's responsible for looted luggage.

�We don't want the TSA to be shouldering the entire weight of these claims, however we do accept some responsibility.�

The good news for passengers traveling through TF Green- all of the screening is in public view, so you can watch as your bags are screened. And since we began our investigation the TSA has begun trying to solve some of the 28-thousand complaints of theft or damaged bags. But they admit, until they and the airlines come up with a better plan of handling complaints, passengers will be flying solo.

Two years after the TSA was created, it still hadn't completed background checks on many of the screeners. That, we're told has just recently been done.

Bottom line, since we're now in the busy travel season, passengers need to protect themselves. So just don't put anything valuable in a checked bag.

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