Pilot: Item Would Have Been Confiscated By Employees
Well, this is certainly embarrassing. The Jacksonville Aviation
Authority Police Department is investigating a Mesa Airlines pilot
who has been accused of taking a passenger's iPod while going
through a security checkpoint at Jacksonville International Airport
last week, police said.
The sad part is he was caught on camera and admitted he'd done
it to police... but reportedly said it would have been taken by
airport employees, anyway, according to Atlanta WABTV Channel 2
The ugly little saga began ;ast Thursday, when a passenger
reported to Transportation Security Administration agents his iPod
was missing after he went through the security checkpoint.
A review of the security tape showed pilot Christopher Newton
placing an empty container over the container holding the
passenger's belongings, apparently as a cover, then removing an
item from the lower container. The pilot then placed the item he'd
removed in his computer bag.
When Newton was located by police, already on board United
Express Flight 7332 getting ready to go, he admitted he did,
indeed, have the iPod in question. He said he took it because it
was just going to be confiscated by airport employees.
After Newton gave the iPod to police, he was allowed back in the
cockpit because the incident made the flight 15 minutes late.
Traveler Phillip Pine told KPHO Phoenix CBS 5 News, "I think
it's pretty much a non-story. A guy got caught stealing an
Newton's neighbor, Lynda Schlosser, thinks otherwise. "He is
trusted, not only by me, but the rest of the airport," she
Newton's wife was approached by a CBS 5 reporter at his
residence in Phoenix, but she declined comment.
There have been no arrests yet, but the State Attorney's Office
will reportedly be issuing a summons soon.
TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez said, "We know passengers steal
from passengers. It can happen anywhere. Fortunately, some airports
do have cameras. Workers try to keep their eyes open and we urge
passengers to do the same."