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Orlando TSA Agent Accused of Stealing From Passengers

ORLANDO, Fla. --

A local Transportation Security Administration agent is accused of stealing right out of checked baggage, and detectives said he was going after high-end items.

A fellow TSA agent at Orlando International Airport told authorities he saw the thefts happen and reported Elliot Iglesias acting suspiciously on the job.

Investigators said they believe Iglesias put his backpack next to suitcases he had been screening, and then he would slip laptops from the passengers' bags into his own.

"Must be pretty quick and sneaky," said passenger Natalie Pfieffer, from Texas.

Passengers heading through Orlando International Airport are in disbelief.

"We do respect them, but it's surprising to hear," said passenger Alan Shemelya, from Orlando.

Iglesias is accused of swiping two Apple laptops, a Sony laptop, a Toshiba laptop and a wi-fi router from checked luggage in March from US Airways flights to Washington, D.C., and other destinations, Orlando police said. Detectives said the agent has been indicted by a grand jury on federal theft charges.

"Now you can't even trust the people you are trying to fly with," said passenger Jennifer Pagan.

Iglesias' neighbors on Redwood National Drive in South Orange County knew something was up when they saw investigators turning the agent's place upside down recently, inspecting his house, his cars, and garage.

"They were searching, searching his vehicle," said neighbor Tony Anaya.

"That's messed up," Pagan said. "You have to go through all this training to be TSA, then all the sudden, he lives with us and stealing people's stuff? That's not fair."

A TSA spokesperson said, "TSA holds its security officers to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance policy for theft in the workplace."

Iglesias has been fired, TSA officials said.

Travelers said they have no choice but to trust the agents still on the job at the airport.

"I trust it's there, I think we're safe," said Pfieffer.

Investigators said they found the stolen electronics in Iglesias's backpack.

Iglesias is facing a year in prison, authorities said.

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