PHILADELPHIA--Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers detected two knives that were sewn into the middle of a child’s stuffed animal. The discovery took place yesterday, Monday, Dec. 27, at a Philadelphia International Airport security checkpoint.
The stuffed animal, which appeared to be a black bear in a space-age technology suit and cape, triggered an alarm as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. The X-ray image indicated something concealed inside the bear and upon closer inspection, TSA officers noticed that the back of the bear showed signs it had been re-stitched.
TSA officers removed the stitches from the rear of the bear and pulled out two knives that had been artfully concealed inside the toy, in the middle of the bear’s stuffing.
“This is a good example of why we cannot assume that something as innocent-looking as a child’s stuffed animal is not a risk to security,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Someone intentionally attempted to conceal two knives inside this 9-year-old boy’s toy for whatever reason. It was a good catch on the part of our TSA officers.”
The youngster was traveling with his mother, a resident of Cortland, NY, who told officials that the bear was a comfort toy for her son. She is likely to face a Federal civil penalty for the security violation.