By Julia Marnin
Source The Charlotte Observer
A mom traveling with her child had knives sewn inside a Darth Vader stuffed bear at the Philadelphia International Airport, the Transportation Security Administration said.
She told TSA officials the bear was her 9-year-old son’s comfort toy, according to the agency’s Dec. 28 news release about the unlikely discovery.
The two knives were “artfully concealed” inside the middle of the Darth Vader bear that triggered an X-ray machine at the airport’s security checkpoint on Dec. 27, the TSA said.
“This is a good example of why we cannot assume that something as innocent-looking as a child’s stuffed animal is not a risk to security,” Gerardo Spero, TSA’s federal security director for the airport, said in a statement.
“Someone intentionally attempted to conceal two knives inside this 9-year-old boy’s toy for whatever reason.”
TSA officers discovered that the back of the bear looked like it was restitched, according to the release, and removed the stitches to confiscate the knives.
The mother, from Cortland, New York, is likely to face a federal civil penalty following the knives’ discovery, the TSA said.
“The mother did not provide a statement related to why/how the knives came to be in the stuffed animal,” Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokesperson, told McClatchy News via email.
The stuffed toy appears to be a Darth Vader Build-A-Bear and McClatchy News has reached out to the company for confirmation.
It is unknown whether the stuffed animal was held for evidence or given back to the child, according to Farbstein.
The mother and son were allowed to continue on their trip, she said.
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