Queens DA: JFK TSA Workers Loot $40,000 From Luggage

Allegedly Found Bag Containing $170,000 And Skimmed Away

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They were supposed to check luggage for explosives.

Instead, two Transportation Security Administration workers at John F. Kennedy International Airport allegedly stole $40,000 from a checked bag.

The two screeners were busted Wednesday and investigators said this isn’t the first time they got sticky fingers, reports CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

The person seen coming out of the Port Authority Police building at JFK, his face covered by a gray hood, was Davon Webb, 30, of the Bronx. Right behind him was Persad Coumar, of Queens. Wednesday was his 44th birthday. Both are TSA screeners at JFK with eight years each on the job. And both were arrested for allegedly taking thousands out of a passenger’s bag that had been checked in.

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According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, when they saw $170,000 in the bag, “That was apparently sufficiently large for the two guys to be unable to stuff their pockets with everything, so they skimmed off about $40,000.”

Detective Lietenant William Hanley of the Port Authority said Coumar put the traveler’s bag through the screening machine and when he spotted what looked like money, he allegedly called Webb.

“They were able to mark the bag.  Once it got back into the baggage system, they intercepted the bag…they opened up the bag and took the money out,” Hanley told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.

1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria gets additional details on the alleged scheme from Detective Lietenant William Hanley

The TSA wanted it known that another TSA employee turned them in. However, the notion that employees would go through bags to steal did not make passengers feel secure.

“There’s no control over it. There goes the trust,” said Jeff Casper of Rye.

Investigators said they recovered $16,000 from Webb’s home.  Coumar, who allegedly admitted he’d stolen before, was supposed to have the remaining $24,000. But when investigators went to his home they allegedly only found $23,980.

Passengers are required to declare carrying cash over $10,000 going in or out of the country. The woman who had the $170,000 in the bag did not do that. She is currently missing in Argentina.

Have you lost trust in TSA workers? Let us know about it in the comments section below.

  • Ron Moore

    This is a direct result of a lack of collective bargaining and poor work by private contractors. I am a former TSO and national TSA union leader with 5 ½ years service in the Agency. I am available for interviews or background information to provide the perspective of someone who has served on the checkpoint. While current TSO’s risk their employment speaking with the media; they will speak with me to provide a current on the scene perspective.

    Ron Moore

    • KPMc

      No… this is the direct result of people with no morals or a sense of right and wrong. Don’t confuse a bad economy or CBA with the actions of dirtbags.

      Ethics is what you do when no one is watching and there is little risk of being caught.

  • West coast guy

    I like the line “they only found $23,980” What an odd way to say they found all but $20

  • Double-R

    This is why I don’t trust these f$5kers going through my bags. Enough said. Also, why in the hell are we carrying CASH out of the damn country? Not to say that they deserved it but knowing that someone’s gonna be rooting around in your bags, who’s to say your stuff won’t disappear?

    I am so watching my stuff when it comes to these @$$holes.

  • Dan Te

    T = Those
    S = SOB
    A = A$$holes

  • Jerry

    I guess Coumar went on an extravagant spending spree??????????

  • LOL over this

    How much does a TSA worker get? Can the same job be done by computers? Why isn’t passenger personal information obtained and verified by computer confirming each passenger is, whom he says he is, and what his occupation is? . Anyone who’s ID can not be verified gets closer scrutiny Big brother already has all of your personal information they just need to link it with travel computers….If you don’t believe that? Just go to Google and simply type in your name, hit enter You may be surprised.

  • DaveP

    EVERY DAY people take huge sums of US Dollars out of the country. The nervy ones sometimes call the cops and sya they had $15, in a small bag that was stolen off their baggage cart at curbside. Of course the want to make an insurance claim, too. When informed that anything over $9900 has to be declared and a report would have to be made to US Customs,suddenly they have an Epiphany and suddenly remember that “Maybe it was only $9900 dollars.

  • David Jarrett

    When I recently arrived at Newark airport from a Continental flight from London, I discovered that the two zipper locks on my large zipper suitcase had been cut, but nothing was stolen. If the TSA cut these locks, why didn’t they put a sticker on the suitcase stating that the TSA cut them? Perhaps it was cut by a baggage handler who did not find anythig worth stealing. Who knows?

  • Herbie Original Situation Raskin


  • Herbie Original Situation Raskin


  • johnny

    Future Union workers. Union Yes!

  • zeid malas

    i wrote to cbs awhile ago about my personal experience at jfk flying internationally.. I had my camera stolen, my perfumes, a cell phone, and other items. every single time i flew from jfk someone would steal my stuff.

  • Traveler

    “But when investigators went to his home they allegedly only found $23,980.”….you are saying “only” because $20 is missing??

    • JNB757

      This was the best part of the story… will they spend $1000 to get back $20 he spent for gas?

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