Brickbat: For Your Protection


Jakub Krechowicz

A Transportation Security Administration screener at Orlando International Airport has been charged with third-degree felony theft after taking cash from a woman's purse. The woman was undergoing a pat-down search when she noticed Alexander Shae Johnson standing near her purse. When she retrieved her purse, she found the cash missing and a bulge in Johnson's shirt pocket.

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  1. “We’re not punishing you, we’re just punishing your cash.”

    I am surprised that this woman (a mere bystander to the guilty cash) had ANY “standing” to challenge said punishment of the cash!!!

  2. Man, they’re really getting selectively serious about asset forfeiture reform.

  3. Frankly, this situation calls for a Singapore-style flogging in addition to making the perp pay double restitution. Ideally, the flogging should be administered by the victim, at the airport, in front of the traveling public and the perp’s former co-workers.


    1. Meh…. dude in low-wage job was tempted to use his access to steal easily accessible money. Doesn’t sound as brick-batty as it sounds predictable but sad.

      It is no different than finding out that a stock boy at Wal-Mart is sneaking valuables out to the dumpster. It is predictable that people with little resource and little opportunity will be tempted to immoral action by opportunity.

      More surprising is just how strong this temptation can be. We had an attorney who was making good money try to steal a $200k deal. And we had several sales guys who were making good money try to steal deals valued in the low thousands. Temptation is a bitch. I was shocked that people would throw away a career for a chance at a few weeks to a year or two’s pay. Throwing away a dead-end low-wage job for a significant multiple monthly disposable income seems less surprising to me.

      To me this is a different story than a systematic violation of rights or an indifferent bureaucracy that allows petty abuses by its functionaries. This is a story of a weak person who did the wrong thing and was caught and punished. So not brick bat. Just “people suck”.

      1. I agree with this. The brickbat will be when he is promoted. Should be any day now.

  4. Why was she carrying cash, no one uses cash any more except for drugs, illegal guns and prostitutes? When everyone uses electronic currency, then this will not be a problem, and the feds will be able to keep an eye on all transactions for illicit activities.

    Yes, I’m being sarcastic. And they can take their $10,000 rule and shove it too.

  5. Evidently she was unaware of TSA’s new, experimental, unannounced policy of tipping employees.
    A tip is now customary when a really good ‘pat down’ is performed.

  6. no word about the bulge in his trousers?

  7. Not just a thief, but a stupid one. Our tax dollars at work!

    1. I am sure some other ‘agent’ at that location had done it several times successfully, and he got the idea from breakroom talk.

  8. It’s just the old magician’s sleight-of-hand distraction trick – watch the guy stealing a little wad of cash from a traveler’s purse, pay no attention to the TSA stealing billions of dollars from taxpayer’s wallets.

    Here’s a thought – have the FAA set security standards and have airlines themselves responsible for funding and implementing the security. Now think about it – if the airlines themselves were responsible for meeting security standards, would those standards be set higher or lower than the TSA’s and would the security cost more or less than the TSA? And if spot checks revealed the airlines were as godawful bad as the TSA at meeting those standards, how big would the fines be, how big of a scandal would it be? The TSA is just really expensive security theater, I’d be willing to bet if the airlines came up with their own security regimen it would be much cheaper, much less intrusive and much more effective.

  9. Wondering what I would do in that situation? Call out the theft and get my ass beat to hell in back for daring to question the Sacred and Inviolate TSA? Or just let it go and write it off as my own stupidity for having cash near a TSA agent?

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