All three big NYC area airports make TSA’s Top 10 list of good catches in 2020

TSA officers at Newark-Liberty International Airport scored the top good catch of the year
Local Press Release
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
TSA canines Obelix and Proto participated in the June 2020 wedding of their TSA canine handlers. (TSA photo)

Roman candles photo
A stash of Roman candles detected by TSA officers at LaGuardia Airport. (TSA photo)
Suspicious item photo
Originally believed to be a pipe bomb, this suspicious item turned out to be a homemade humidor for a passenger’s cigars. (TSA photo)

NEW YORK. —  Newark Liberty International, John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia Airports all earned the high honor of making it into the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Top 10 list of good catches detected at airports in 2020 with TSA officers at Newark landing the top good catch of 2020. TSA released the list in an on-line video it posted on the agency’s YouTube page.

Five of the Top 10 good catches were from the three major New York City area airports including the top three. What were the items from the airports that ranked as # 8, #5, #3, #2 and #1? Read on . . .

Good catch #8 was a stash of 107 Roman candles that were detected by TSA officers at LaGuardia Airport in a traveler’s baggage in early November 2020. Roman candles are fireworks and are very flammable. They are prohibited from being carried onto airplanes in checked or carry-on bags in accordance with FAA regulations.

Good catch #5 was also detected by TSA officers at LaGuardia Airport when they spotted a suspicious device in a carry-on bag that contained two torch-style lighters along with a homemade container of nine-inch long PVC pipe with end caps, which resembled a pipe bomb. When one of the end caps was removed, a partially smoked cigar was found inside. It turned out that the item was a homemade humidor for a traveler’s cigars.

Suspicious item at JFK photo
Suspicious item resembling an IED that TSA officers at JFK International Airport detected in a traveler’s carry-on bag in September 2020. (TSA photo)
Long barreled gun photo
This long barreled gun and ammunition were artfully concealed beneath the lining of a traveler’s suitcase. (TSA photo)

Good catch #3 was detected by TSA officers at Newark-Liberty International Airport in July when they detected this long-barreled gun with a high-powered magazine and an arsenal of ammunition artfully concealed behind the lining of a suitcase during checked baggage screening.

Good catch #2 was a suspicious device that was detected by TSA officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport last September when they were screening a traveler’s carry-on bag. The item consisted of two large electronic items wired to what appeared to be a 

tampered power source, which looked like an improvised explosive device. The power component was hazardous because the traveler had tampered with and exposed multiple lithium batteries, which created a possible explosive device. The item was determined to be a solar panel wired to the batteries to power the electronic item.

The #1 top good catch of 2020 was clearly the best of all and involved two TSA canine handlers from Newark Liberty International Airport who caught each other and tied the knot last June.

For more information on what you can and cannot bring on an airplane, visit