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The Blotter

The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

August 16, 2010 at 3:38 PM

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Former TSA supervisor stole from luggage at Sea-Tac Airport

Posted by John de Leon

A former supervisor with the Transportation Security Administration pleaded guilty on Monday to stealing more than $20,000 in jewelry, coins and other valuables from checked luggage at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Randy Pepper, 50, of Spanaway, admitted in U.S. District Court in Seattle to taking gold pins, sterling silver necklaces, earrings, coins, bracelets and rings and then selling them to a pawn shop. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at his sentencing on Nov. 19.

According to federal prosecutors, Pepper was a TSA supervisor from 2007 until 2009, when the thefts were discovered and he was fired. Prosecutors said the thefts were reported by a fellow employee who had seen Pepper removing items from checked luggage. A review of surveillance video confirmed the thefts, prosecutors said.

Few of the items were recovered, according to prosecutors, because most had been sold to pawn shops and melted down for their metal content.

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