TSA Using X-Ray to Find Stuff Worth Stealing?

My Sony Reader was stolen from my checked luggage on a UAL flight from SFO to OGG two weeks ago. From talking to a few frequent travelers, it appears as though such thefts have reached epidemic levels. In this case I’m particularly suspicious of TSA rather than United Airlines simply because the Sony Reader is fairly thin and I thought it was pretty well hidden between layers of clothes. IOW, the use of an X-Ray machine would have helped the Bad Guys know it was in there. Instead of protecting us, are TSA employees using federally funded X-Ray machines to help them find valuable electronic gear for them to steal? Traveling with more and more electronic gear (laptop, camera, e=book reader, iPod, etc.), it’s no longer easy to fit it all into carry-on luggage.

Update: From the TSA web site:

TSA Week at a Glance (December 8, 2008 – December 14, 2008)

  • 11 passengers were arrested due to suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents
  • 19 firearms found at checkpoints
  • 7 artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints
  • 13 incidents that involved a checkpoint closure, terminal evacuation or sterile area breach

Why do I get the feeling that TSA is aiding and abetting more crime than they’re preventing?

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