Friday, March 23, 2007

TSA Employees Accused of Thefts at LAX

Victims include Paris Hilton, Keyshia Cole

- Misdemeanor theft cases are being filed against 10 employees and a transient suspected of pilfering the personal property of travelers at LAX, including hotel heiress Paris Hilton and singer Keyshia Cole, the City Attorney's Office announced today.

Most of the alleged thieves are employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration, said Nick Velasquez of the City Attorney's Office.

A news conference is planned at LAX tomorrow morning to discuss details of the investigation and charges.

"We're a public law office, so whenever there's a significant announcement or a significant legal actions being taken, it's our duty and obligation to tell the public ... that we are working to ensure the safety and security of travelers at LAX," Velasquez said.

Eight of the defendants are TSA employees who work at Los Angeles International Airport and two are employees of an LAX subcontractor, Velasquez said.

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo will be joined for the announcement by Larry Fetters, federal security director for the TSA; Jack Hook, special agent in charge with the Department of Homeland Security-Office of the Inspector General; and LAPD Capt. Bob Green, commanding officer of the LAPD-LAX Field Services Division.

During the news conference, Delgadillo will also announce the launch of his "LAX Security Enhancement Initiative," according to Velasquez.


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