If you travel by air a lot and didn't have the chance to watch "ABC's The Lookout" on July 3, 2013 take time to watch the first segment.

Until I heard a report on the radio and saw this report, I didn't realize I was almost a victim of a TSA theft. When going thru Security in LAX, I took my laptop out as required and sent it thru the scanner. I was told that it would need to be rescreened as they checked my carry on. I watched my laptop go thru the scanner, then they set it to the side while the TSA agent kept me there as he went thru my bag. I took my eyes off the laptop for just a second and when I turned around it was gone. I started asking where is my laptop, TSA said "we released it". I raised a fit telling them they were responsible that they should have handed it back to me instead of just "releasing it". They denied seeing it, and Jill and I continued to raise a fit.............then all of a sudden, my laptop appeared under a couple of the bins that go thru the scanner. The TSA agents acted mad that we had raised such a stink and made it seem it was my fault, but after seeing this show and hearing the radio report, I now know that this may have been an attempt to steal my laptop. Had I walked away and later realized I had left my laptop, they could deny ever seeing it.

The point I'm making is.... WATCH YOUR ELECTRONICS AT ALL TIMES when going thru the TSA Security Check Points at the Airports. 

So how can you protect your valuables from sticky-fingered screeners? First, never pack anything valuable in your checked luggage. Second, order your personal items strategically as they go through the X-ray machines. Try to put less important items (like jackets, shoes, and laptop cases) through the machine first, followed by more important/expensive items like iPods, laptops, etc. This way you can (hopefully) be done with your pat-down and able to watch your valuables as they come out of the machine. Before you leave the area, triple-check that you've collected all your items, including your change (which the TSA legally keeps).

ABC's The Lookout - Aired July 3, 2013


Here are a few tips from an article by Smartertravel.com

Choose the Right Case (and Know the Unknown Rules)

Don't risk dropping your laptop as you struggle to take it out of the case for inspection. Invest in a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag (click here for TSA-approved styles), and your laptop should sail through security smoothly. Also be aware that you do not have to take certain electronics out to be screened separately; you can leave your iPad, MP3 player, cell phone, and Kindle in your carry-on, keeping them hidden from thieving eyes. And never remove any electronics from your carry-on (except for laptops in nonapproved cases) without being asked by security. Every item you take out is one that you'll have to remember to retrieve as you're rushing to put your shoes, belts, and jewelry back on.

Carry-On Only

The TSA will not reimburse you for electronics or other fragile items that were damaged in checked baggage. Never check your electronics in your luggage: They are highly likely to be broken during loading and offloading—or even stolen. The good news is, the TSA says that on most flights, you're allowed one extra carry-on item of photographic equipment in addition to your carry-on suitcase and personal item. (Double-check with your airline before flying.)

Tag-Team Security

Flying with a partner? Team up to make sure your electronics join you on the other side of the X-ray. Send one person through the body scanner and metal detector while the second person waits a few places behind you in line with all of your valuables. Then the first person can watch the electronics come through in case the second person is selected for additional screening, keeping laptops, cameras, and other valuables safe from sticky fingers at the checkpoint.

Careful on the Conveyor Belt

Always put your laptop and any other electronics you have in their own bins. The person behind you in line may hate you for hogging all the bins, but it makes it easier for the TSA to screen your items. Plus, piling bags, jackets, or even keys atop delicate electronics is a surefire way to damage them.

If All Else Fails

Know that you have rights if your electronics have been damaged by the TSA. Take pictures of broken equipment, save repair receipts, and keep your tickets. Then head to the TSA's website to download a claims package form to get financial compensation.