comscore Former airport security screener due in court in theft from traveler | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Former airport security screener due in court in theft from traveler

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An ex-Transportation Security Administration screener accused of taking cash from a traveler’s wallet is scheduled to appear in court next week.

Tracy Leanne Owens, 47, also known as Tracy Leanne Burnett, is due to appear in Hono­lulu District Court on July 26 on a charge of fourth-degree theft.

The alleged incident took place June 22 at the Hono­lulu Airport security line, where travelers put their belongings on a conveyer belt.

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said Owens, then a TSA screener, was questioned that day, then released without charges.

But state sheriffs deputies arrested her June 28 and charged her with fourth-degree theft, Public Safety spokes­woman Toni Schwartz said.

A complaint filed in Circuit Court says the stolen money totaled less than $100.

"We have zero tolerance for theft in our agency," Melendez said. "While we were processing the necessary paperwork to remove this employee, the employee resigned."

Melendez said the TSA and law enforcement in Hawaii investigated.

Owens was convicted of third-degree theft in 1995.

Any thefts while she was with the agency would have led to her termination, Melendez said.

The TSA has employed 150,000 people over the course of its history. and there had been 900 terminations due to theft as of two years ago, the latest figure available, Melendez said.

Two million people travel every day, and one theft is too many, he said.

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