J.F.K. Security Agents Charged With Stealing $40,000

Updated 5:23 p.m. | Two federal officers assigned to work in security jobs at Kennedy International Airport have been arrested and charged with stealing $40,000 in cash from a piece of checked luggage, the authorities said.

According to the office of the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, the officers took the cash from a passenger’s piece of luggage that had contained a total of $170,000 in cash.

The theft occurred on Jan. 30 in a building “under the jurisdiction of American Airlines,” said Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for Mr. Brown. “The cash was recovered at the residence of both defendants.”

Mr. Ryan said the theft came to light after “another T.S.A. employee reported it to the supervisor,” who then alerted the police of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The two men — Persad Coumar 44, of 89-50 56th Avenue in Queens; and Davon Webb, 30, of 43-93 Barnes Avenue in the Bronx — were arrested on Wednesday. They have each been charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, fifth-degree conspiracy and official misconduct. Mr. Ryan said.

Mr. Ryan said that when the two men split the proceeds, Mr. Webb got $16,000 and Mr. Coumar got $24,000. Investigators said they recovered nearly all of it; only $20 was missing from Mr. Coumar’s share, they said.

“He admitted that he had taken $20 to buy food,” Mr. Ryan said.

A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration released a statement noting that the agency has a “zero tolerance policy for theft in the workplace. The disgraceful actions of a few should not reflect negatively on the approximately 50,000 T.S.A. officers across the country who work each day to keep the traveling public safe.”

In a statement, Michael A. Fedorko, the superintendent of the Port Authority police, said, “Despite the coordinated criminal efforts of these two individuals, the Port Authority Police Department working with the TSA uncovered their scheme and today arrested the perpetrators.”

The two suspects were awaiting arraignment in Criminal Court in Queens on Wednesday afternoon.

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