Quick thinking by a supervisory TSA officer at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) enabled police to arrest a traveler who stole a wedding ring from another passenger at a security checkpoint. In the end, the stolen wedding band was returned to its rightful owner.
When a traveler approached Supervisory TSA Officer Sonam Anand to report that a ring he placed in a checkpoint bin was missing, Anand knew she had to act quickly. After Anand asked the passenger when and where he came in, she reviewed the video of him going through screening. Upon examining the video, Anand spotted another passenger snatch the ring from a bin and put it in his pocket.
She notified the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) and gave them a photo of the suspect. Anand told police which concourse the thief took so they could find him.
A short time later, police returned to the checkpoint with the ring. Law enforcement officers tracked down the burglar and arrested him at the departure gate as he was waiting to board his flight.
“The victim was very grateful to have retrieved his ring back,” Anand said. “The law enforcement officers thanked me for being fully prepared with the image of the perpetrator and which direction to locate him.”
Anand’s description was crucial since Terminal C has three concourses.
Thomas Carter, TSA’s federal security director at EWR, commended Anand for her work and said TSA maintains a great partnership with stakeholders at the airport and, in particular, the PAPD.
“This relationship is based on trust, communication, and teamwork. Anand demonstrated this very well in this incident,” Carter said. “Not only did this story end with the arrest of a thief and a grateful victim of that theft, but the critical relationship between TSA and Port Authority Police was further strengthened due to her actions.
“Anand was very engaging with the victim and used her investigative skills and video tools to quickly identify the subject and then provided this to the police. All the police had to do was go to the gate area and place the subject under arrest.”
TSA partners with PAPD when passengers are in medical distress, suspicious items or people are observed, or firearms are undeclared or improperly packaged.
“We work with PAPD every day from curb to gate to help ensure that travelers get to their destinations safely,” Carter said. “This time that meant working together to catch a thief and return a stolen wedding ring.”
From TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs