Ever wonder about the safety of your jewelry when passing through an airport security checkpoint? Thinking about proposing to your fiancée in another country? Be careful, as there have been reports of jewelry being stolen from unsuspecting travelers, and if you’re not alert, it may happen to you.
On September 5, 2012, it was reported that a diamond ring had been frisked away from a traveler at Dubai airport. First Policeman Abdulwahid Jabbar stated in testimony that a passenger had just gone through security when he noticed his diamond ring had disappeared.
After arriving at the scene, police inspected the area and retrieved the closed-circuit television footage. On the video, an airport employee was seen taking the diamond ring from a traveler’s belongings. When confronted, the employee admitted to the crime and led authorities to the location of the ring.
Despite the fact that this particular incident was resolved without issue, it doesn’t make it any easier on the next unsuspecting traveler who may have valuable possessions turn up missing while at the airport, only to never see them again.
Recently, the Transportation Security Administration posted an article stating that from May 2003 to September 2012, only 381 TSA employees—or about .04%—had been terminated for theft. The statement continues, “This extremely small percentage does not reflect the dedication and professionalism of our workforce as a whole.” This was in response to an ABC report on iPads being stolen via airport security.
However, as is a common response to any statistics on crime, this “extremely small percentage” only accounts for those TSA employees who have been caught. Plus, it does not include the theft of jewelry in airports in foreign territories.
So what are some ways you can protect your jewelry from being stolen by airport employees? For starters, don’t put anything of high monetary or sentimental value in your checked luggage. Even if you put a TSA-approved lock on your bag, certain airport personnel have the authority to open the lock and check the contents of your luggage.
Furthermore, aside from the potential for your diamond ring or pearl necklace being swiped straight out of your suitcase, airlines are known to lose luggage from time to time. And even if they are able to locate it, you don’t want to deal with the anxiety of hoping your jewelry will be returned, as well.
Overall, the best way to protect yourself from theft by airport security is to not travel with your valuable possessions. When a diamond ring has a special sentiment attached, you don’t want to deal with the heartbreak of having it frisked away by an authoritative stranger. And unless the crime is clearly captured by a near-by security camera, that beautiful engagement ring may find its way to the finger of a lucky girl whom you’ve never met.
Even if you’ve registered your jewelry prior to traveling, proving a theft took place can be a difficult and drawn-out process—full of monotonous paperwork, appeals, and ultimately disappointment. Put simply: unless you absolutely cannot live without it, just leave it at home.
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