TSA Worker Accused of Stealing $8,500 from Checked Bag at O'Hare
COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Transportation Security Administration agent is facing a felony theft charge after he allegedly stole $8,500 from a checked suitcase at O'Hare International Airport, prosecutors said.
Angel Velazquez, 59, was still wearing his TSA uniform when his mug shot was taken by Chicago Police. A TSA spokeswoman said the federal agency is moving to fire him.
Prosecutors in court Wednesday said a 48-year-old woman put the cash in her suitcase and checked the bag as she took a flight on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in mid-November. When she arrived at her undisclosed destination, she realized the money was missing.
Prosecutors said that agent Velazquez was caught on surveillance video going through the woman's suitcase. He allegedly found the cash, stashed it in a garbage can and later retrieved it and put it in his own backpack.
Velazquez, of the 3600 block of West Fullerton Avenue in Logan Square, has worked at O'Hare for the last 11 years, his attorney said. He was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony theft.
Prosecutors did not explain in court why Velazquez was not arrested sooner.
With no prior criminal record, Velazquez was released Wednesday on his own recognizance after a brief bond hearing. A Cook County judge ordered that he be placed on electronic monitoring while the case is pending.
Reached later Wednesday, a TSA spokeswoman said, "TSA does not tolerate theft and is moving immediately to terminate this individual."