TSA agent at D/FW Airport suspected of stealing iPads

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 1 at 11:30 AM

D/FW AIRPORT - Police suspect Clayton Keith Dovel, a Transportation Security Administration baggage inspector at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Terminal E, of stealing iPads from checked luggage.

Dovel works in the terminal, but unlike the security checkpoints where passengers are screened, the 35-year-old TSA employee works in an out-of-sight position in what's called the "Resolution Room" where checked luggage is screened by hand.

That's where police say they think Dovel took iPads that travelers packed away.

"For me, it was like zero chance of me thinking I'd get the iPad back," said Borna Mojra, an architecture student at the University of Texas at Arlington.

It was a long shot, but eight months after his new, 64 gigabyte iPad was stolen, D/FW Airport Police say they found Dovel with it at work.

They also found him with seven other iPads.

Another theft victim actually led police to Dovel. That individual tracked their stolen iPad to Dovel's Bedford home.

The theft has shaken Mojra's trust in the TSA.

"If they're the guys who are protecting us and they're not,  who am I going to trust next?" he asked.

In a statement, the TSA said Dovel is on administrative leave until the agency can sort out what happened.

"The action of one individual in no way reflects on the outstanding job our more than 50,000 security officers do every day," the TSA added.

It's uncertain how many cases Dovel might solve, or whether the TSA will let him return to a trusted position.

No one came to the door at Dovel's Bedford home on Tuesday afternoon. There's no listed phone number for him or his wife.

Mojra said he hopes to get his iPad back next week, once investigators release it.

Theft continues to be a common crime at D/FW, but police have been successful lately in catching crooks at the sprawling airport.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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