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ABC News uses iCloud to track a stolen iPad to TSA officer's home

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
An investigation into frequent thefts at American airport security screening checkpoints resulted in a stolen iPad being tracked to a TSA officer's home, using Apple's 'Find My Phone' iCloud service.

In a sting operation conducted by Brian Ross of ABC News, iPads and cash were left behind in airport security checkpoints.

In nine of the ten airports visited, passengers were asked to return to pick up their belongings, which were clearly labeled with their name and contact information.

However, after an iPad went missing in Orlando, the news organization tracked it back to the home of TSA officer Andy Ramirez, where reporters confronted the man and asked him if he had it. He repeatedly said he did not have it.



The reporters then set off iCloud's audible alert, which began ringing inside Ramirez's house. Only after taking off his TSA uniform did he return and acknowledge that he did in fact have it, but he continued to insist that he did not take it, initially blaming his wife for obtaining it.

"I'm so embarrassed," Ramirez told reporters. "My wife says she got the iPad and brought it home," he said.

When told he was filmed handling the iPad at airport security, and that it was tracked back to his home afterward, Ramirez stopped talking.

The TSA said Ramirez is no longer working for the agency. It noted that it has fired 11 officers for theft this year, and a total of 381 dating back to 2003.
post #2 of 59
Go iCloud. Go Apple. ...when only the very best will do.
post #3 of 59
Quote:
The reporters then set off iCloud's audible alert, which began ringing inside Ramirez's house.

 

Best part of the whole article lol.gif

post #4 of 59

Whenever I fly and have to go through those security checkpoints, I don't let the trays with my stuff in them out of my view for a single second. I walk through at the same exact pace that my trays are passing through the machine. I don't trust any of those people.

 

Last time I needed a tray for an iPad, a tray for a Macbook and a tray for a knapsack. I left a wireless Apple keyboard in the knapsack.

 

After the trays all passed through the x-ray machines, they said that they were suspicious of my Apple keyboard and I had to take it out of the bag to show them that the image that confused the woman watching the x-ray machine wasn't actually explosives or something, but it was just the batteries inside of the Apple keyboard. 

 

I also read about a new rule from the TSA stating that iPads do not have to be taken out of bags anymore, but laptops do. Apparently the TSA geniuses at the airport that I visited didn't get that memo yet.

post #5 of 59

Articles abound about people tracking their lost or stolen iDevices. You see them every day in news reports. How stupid does a thief have to be to NOT know the devices can be tracked? 

post #6 of 59
This idiot didn't even attempt to wipe it? Geez.

Not that in condoning theft..seriously.
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post #7 of 59
oh ya does an android have this!?!?!? lol
post #8 of 59
It's still sad how the guy lost his job over this sting operation and his poor wife trying to cover for him but to no avail...

This may stop people from taking iPads but they will continue to take other things.
post #9 of 59

So which maps version was that?

 

5 or 6.

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post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

It's still sad how the guy lost his job over this sting operation and his poor wife trying to cover for him but to no avail...
This may stop people from taking iPads but they will continue to take other things.

 

So how much other stuff had he taken over the time of his employment?

 

Businesses should not tolerate thieves stealing from customers, it's bad for business, unless you're an investment bank of course, where the Government rewards you with hand outs.

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post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash_beezy View Post

This idiot didn't even attempt to wipe it? Geez.
 

 

Has anybody ever claimed that idiots and thieves were particularly smart?

 

This criminal douchebag would risk his entire job and salary just to steal something that costs around $500?

 

Smart move.lol.gif Granted, it's probably not the first thing that the douchebag has stolen.

post #12 of 59
The "Find My $49 Nexus Tablet" feature just links you to a website that tries to sell you a new plastic tablet.

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post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

It's still sad how the guy lost his job over this sting operation and his poor wife trying to cover for him but to no avail...
This may stop people from taking iPads but they will continue to take other things.

I guess I'm having a hard time understanding why it's sad. If I caught an employee stealing customers' goods, I'd fire him on the spot, too.
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post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The "Find My $49 Nexus Tablet" feature just links you to a website that tries to sell you a new plastic tablet.

 

I think that most Android users can safely write their home addresses and phone number on the backside of their devices.

 

After a day or two with the device, any self respecting thief would realize what a humongous blunder they had committed and they would do anything within their power to return it to the original owner as quickly as humanly possible.

post #15 of 59
Quote:

 

So how much other stuff had he taken over the time of his employment?

I can tell you from experience that Swiss army knives disappear routinely in checked luggage

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post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

So how much other stuff had he taken over the time of his employment?

 

Businesses should not tolerate thieves stealing from customers, it's bad for business, unless you're an investment bank of course, where the Government rewards you with hand outs.

 

True, especially because it is that same government who has an agency that was supposed to monitor those investment banks.

post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I guess I'm having a hard time understanding why it's sad. If I caught an employee stealing customers' goods, I'd fire him on the spot, too.

 

Sad in that this person would risk his job over an iPad.  I agree it was probably not the first time he has stolen from passengers, but at least it was his last.  In the airport anyway.

post #18 of 59
As someone who does this exact job (in a different country) I don't understand how anyone thinks they can get away with this. With the 100 plus cameras watching you at all times the TSA can see you at all times from all angles and you as an employee know they are there.

9 times out of 10 its other passengers who steal and in my airports case most of the time they get caught. There are a few times that i know of where other employees have tried to take stuff the have been caught, fired and a few times criminally charged like they should be.

these are the same people who can't understand why the public hates us
post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I can tell you from experience that Swiss army knives disappear routinely in checked luggage

 

My friend can attest that his smokes are routinely taken out of his bag as well.

post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I can tell you from experience that Swiss army knives disappear routinely in checked luggage

 

Hand grenades too, whats the go with that?

 

It's supposed to be hand luggage.

 

/s

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post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSteelers View Post

 

My friend can attest that his smokes are routinely taken out of his bag as well.

 

If you go to Indonesia, a bottle of scotch will disappear and they don't look any further.

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post #22 of 59

Bad Piggy!

 

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post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dipitca View Post

As someone who does this exact job (in a different country) I don't understand how anyone thinks they can get away with this. With the 100 plus cameras watching you at all times the TSA can see you at all times from all angles and you as an employee know they are there.
9 times out of 10 its other passengers who steal and in my airports case most of the time they get caught. There are a few times that i know of where other employees have tried to take stuff the have been caught, fired and a few times criminally charged like they should be.
these are the same people who can't understand why the public hates us

 

Yes, well, perhaps your agency in your country isn't a useless bunch of morons hired as extras in security theater. The TSA is the one federal agency that could be shut down tomorrow and it wouldn't make a bit of difference to anything, particularly airport security.

 

Clearly the TSA is so corrupt that they are all just looking the other way as their coworkers steal everything they can lay their hands on.

post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Yes, well, perhaps your agency in your country isn't a useless bunch of morons hired as extras in security theater. The TSA is the one federal agency that could be shut down tomorrow and it wouldn't make a bit of difference to anything, particularly airport security.

Clearly the TSA is so corrupt that they are all just looking the other way as their coworkers steal everything they can lay their hands on.

That is, of course, nonsense.

TSA is not perfect, but most of them are decent, honest employees.

They have some management issues, but that isn't the employees' fault. Their biggest problem is that their objectives are unrealistic. They are expected to ensure that no terrorist event ever occurs on an airplane again and there's no downside to being overly cautious. They are therefore always going to err on the side of excluding things and people - the system is set up that way. There's no reward for getting people through security faster, but you can be sure as shooting that there'd be hell to pay if there was another terrorist incident. Under that scenario, I'd enforce every rule to the letter, as well.
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post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

Yes, well, perhaps your agency in your country isn't a useless bunch of morons hired as extras in security theater. The TSA is the one federal agency that could be shut down tomorrow and it wouldn't make a bit of difference to anything, particularly airport security.

 

Clearly the TSA is so corrupt that they are all just looking the other way as their coworkers steal everything they can lay their hands on.


Although we'll have to agree to disagree that "it wouldn't make a bit of difference to anything". The TSA is yes known to be one the worst of all the agencies around the world, it's less to do with the people but rather the structure of the agency.

 

It's one of the few countries where you are actually a federal employee and management and you work for the same people so it's in everyones best interested "cover each others ass". most likely that's why the TSA had no clue where the iPad went. The countries who contract the work out have done a much better job at providing security while not being as corrupt as this.

post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaruza View Post

oh ya does an android have this!?!?!? lol

Yes
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post #27 of 59
Android doesn't need it. Who would want to steal an Android POS.
post #28 of 59
Is it me or is there a ipad5 label on the find ipad
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dipitca View Post


Although we'll have to agree to disagree that "it wouldn't make a bit of difference to anything". The TSA is yes known to be one the worst of all the agencies around the world, it's less to do with the people but rather the structure of the agency.

 

It's one of the few countries where you are actually a federal employee and management and you work for the same people so it's in everyones best interested "cover each others ass". most likely that's why the TSA had no clue where the iPad went. The countries who contract the work out have done a much better job at providing security while not being as corrupt as this.

In many airports, the employees are not actually TSA employees.   The services are contracted out and these employees are very poorly paid - somewhere between minimum wage and about $10 an hour.    Who do we think we're getting for those kinds of wages?      However, there should be a TSA supervisor at every single security position keeping an eye on the employees and every employee caught stealing should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.    The airlines themselves should be pushing to get better people employed because people are avoiding flying because of the security hassles.   It's not that you have to go through security.  It's that the rules are applied inconsistently, it's generally inefficient and everyone knows the entire things is a charade anyway.   In the Northeast corridor on the Washington-New York-Boston run, people are taking Amtrak instead of taking the air shuttles (which are actually no longer shuttles anyway).  

post #30 of 59
Damn that was some epic ownage... I cringed.
post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I guess I'm having a hard time understanding why it's sad. If I caught an employee stealing customers' goods, I'd fire him on the spot, too.

 

Well, stealing is wrong but this device was left behind on purpose to entrap the guy.  Moreover, it's just one more family that may end up in financial trouble leading to a broken home.  While it's possible that this guy had stolen before, it's also possible that this was his first time.

post #32 of 59
The guy got what he deserved. Having said that, I wonder what financial challenges he might have as well as pressures to give his children the things they want/need in order to keep up with their classmates.

What he did (an probably had done in the past) was wrong and the punishment justified. I feel saddened by the challenges his family will now face now that he has no income.
post #33 of 59
If I were walking down the street and saw either an iPhone or iPad on he ground or on a bus bench I ain't touching
that mofo!!! Believe that!
Hell naw!!!! Lawl help me if I did!
I
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaruza View Post

oh ya does an android have this!?!?!? lol

 Yeah, Android can do more.

 

  • Turn on video camera remotely to see perp
  • Turn on remotely to hear
  • Make the App invisible so the thief doesn't know it's there
  • Even make it so that if they try to wipe the phone the app remains

 

Some you have to be rooted for them, but if you buy an Android and you don't root it, you might as well get an iPhone

post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrodriguez View Post

 Yeah, Android can do more.
  • Turn on video camera remotely to see perp
  • Turn on remotely to hear
  • Make the App invisible so the thief doesn't know it's there
  • Even make it so that if they try to wipe the phone the app remains

Some you have to be rooted for them, but if you buy an Android and you don't root it, you might as well get an iPhone

That could possibly prove useful if anybody ever ends up deciding that an Android device would be worth stealing...
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post #36 of 59
He thought he was stealing a Samsung Galaxy Tab which is why he didn't admit to having the iPad. So frickin' hard to tell the difference.
post #37 of 59

What site would you log into in order to see the Android camera...

post #38 of 59


I imagine these people have a really dull job but the whole process is clearly open to abuse:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41060589/ns/travel-news/t/woman-whose-breasts-exposed-pat-down-settles-tsa/#.UGWCVWjjfi0

Just one foiled terrorist plot and they are able to justify it.
post #39 of 59
Good old liberal hiring practices. Every single time I have been robbed at a hotel, it was by one of the employees. How do I know? a) They have the keys to my room. b) I once got the manager of a hotel to ADMIT her employee had stolen the mobile phone belonging to one of my staff. I gave her 30 minutes to put it back in our room no questions asked, else I would call the police.

We waited 30 minutes outside, and then returned to the room, where the phone had been duly returned.

Everywhere you go world-wide where politically correct hiring practises are in place, you get crime. Everywhere.

About time people are hired on merit. Period.
post #40 of 59
I bet his wife isn't too pleased about being thrown under the bus either!
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