TSA Inspector Arrested For Stealing iPads

Clayton Keith Dovel, 36, is the latest Transportation Security Administration baggage inspector arrested for theft. Dovel was found with stolen iPads from luggage of passengers snatched at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

Police found eight stolen iPads, including one that was found with Dovel’s possessions at the airport. The iPads are valued at $20,000. I am astonished that anyone would think that they could get away with such a pattern of criminality.

What is most interesting is that one of the travelers located his stolen iPad through an electronic tracer and showed its location as a Bedford house owned by Dovel.

The case seems pretty airtight. A plea is the obvious course, though it does not seem that the defense has much to negotiate with in terms of a deal.

Source: Star Telegram as first seen on ABA Journal

24 thoughts on “TSA Inspector Arrested For Stealing iPads

  1. Ah..yes…. The Dovel matter….. Did you hear the one about American Eagle…… One passenger lost something like 50k in jewelry….. Mostly from the gate checked bags……. Hmmmm…..

  2. I wonder how many times this has happened that we dont know about. I know this stuff went on with private baggage handlers but isnt the government supposed to be protecting us? Wasnt the Patriot Act passed to protect citizens?

    Who is going to protect us from the TSA and DHS?

  3. This is not a new problem, I lost an expensive wristwatch to baggage handlers before TSA came along. All this has done is add a second set of people, any one of whom can be a thief, with access to steal.

    We need to be able lock out stuff up.

  4. Bron,

    You are correct…. These are what I call gate checked bags…. They take they from you at the gate because of limited space or the overhead is too small for the bags….. The theft either happens at the departing airport or the destination…… These thefts occur within seconds….

    The TSA thefts happen at screening or the entrance….. They are all supposed to be cameraed…… Maybe another unfunded bush mandate…..

  5. Shocking! But even more shocking is the value of 8 ipads at $20,000. If he can fence them of say 50 cents on the dollar, not a bad haul.

    But a quick check on the internet shows that Walmart has a 32 gb Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G for barely more than $600 -new!!!

    I can’t wait till they find the baggie of pot worth $500,000.

    I agree with you Bron, putting valuable in you check baggage is like contributing to a fund for underpaid government workers. Very thoughtful and I am sure much appreciated.

  6. Yeah but the problem is if it’s that easy to slip something OUT of a bag, how easy would it be to slip something IN?!?

    The notion that this somehow makes us “safer” seems to be a load of BS!

  7. Frankly, “we need to be able to lock our stuff up”

    Yeah, tried that with a lock with a TSA logo on it. Got clipped right off.

    Tried a simple keychain type screw lock. Got clipped too.

    I understand time pressures, but goons will be goons.

    You’d think with unemployment the way it is, TSA could hire some better quality staff. Unless it’s like the teamsters, you know, like hire my cousin Vinnie, or I break your face.

  8. If Ipads are worth that much, I am going to trade mine in! The TSA makes a habit of abusing the traveling public and this is just one that got caught.

  9. Great point John!
    Although it did not make me feel better about TSA. sheesh

    I wonder if this guy has my pocketknife or the two sting ray wallets I was going to give as gifts…..

  10. This is rather moot since the value of the theft was so high but some of you might find it interesting that thefts of cell phones, ipads, etc stolen in Washington State can be classified as felonies, regardless of the value, if they have a SIM card or other similar device inside.

    RCW 9A.56.040 reads:
    (1) A person is guilty of theft in the second degree if he or she commits theft of:

    (c) An access device.

    (2) Theft in the second degree is a class C felony.

    Under RCW 9A.56.010

    (1) “Access device” means any card, plate, code, account number, or other means of account access that can be used alone or in conjunction with another access device to obtain money, goods, services, or anything else of value, or that can be used to initiate a transfer of funds, other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument;

    Since the SIM card contains a unique identification number that is used to obtain cellular telephone services, online services, or goods through purchase on the cell phone it becomes an access device. So the theft of a $35 rack phone can in theory put a person in prison if their offender score is high enough.

  11. Anybody think about the smirk on the guy’s face?
    Corruption is never isolated is my rule.

    So he already has been offered a plea. Who did that? His boss. The boss got busted earlier for the same rap. The bosse’s boss, who was skimming the take, and feeding someone higher up, got the strings pulled so as to prevent himself from being revealed, etc. Well-known scheme: The guy at the top takes the least risk, gets the greatest take, and all depends on whom he’s paying.

    So, the smirker knows he’ll get a slap on the wrist. And a guaranteed return to his job, as this will be classified as not proving him unsuitable for the job.
    The cameras will be guaranteed disabled next time.

  12. Ok. We’re all in agreement that the TSA is comprised of a bunch of thugs and miscreants. NOW. WHAT are we going to DO about it? It’s easy to point out these things. However, the difficulty comes in actually DOING something to stop this abusive agency.

  13. “Jewels!? Sorry, not permitted.
    We’ll just confiscate them for safekeeping.
    Here’s an en blanco receipt acknowledging the inventory and estimate of value which will be made later. You’ll get them back on your return trip.

    Oh, not returning? Then our new service “Ground Return” will help you. Just give then a call or email as you prefer. With your form number, they’ll take care of you. You can’t imagine how many plane crashes we avoid this way. Those terrorists are nothing to fool with.

    Oh, by the way, here’s a little flyer for “RentaJewel”, they’ll help you at your destination, always at a mall near you. Have a nice day.”
    “Sorry that you missed your flight. But there’s always a later one, they say. Next time you’ll leave them in your bankbox. You do trust your bank don’t you.?”

    “Oh, you’ve cancelled and are not flying. Well, that presents a little problem…………………………”


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