MESA, Ariz. - “When you called and said you’d like to interview us, we thought ‘This is a perfect opportunity to get our story out. Maybe it will help somebody else’.”
That’s what Tyson Tibshraeny told us when we visited him at his home in Mesa.
Tibshraeny and his wife sent us an email that got our attention. They said something strange happened recently when they went through security at Sky Harbor Airport.
This complaint had nothing to do with a pat-down.
“You don’t know who’s in the line, who the guy is behind you or in front of you,” Tibshraeny told us, “You don’t know who is thinking about how to take advantage of you.”
Tibshraeny claims someone stole money from his wallet while he was going through TSA security.
“Where I have a problem is they wanted to separate me from my wallet,” he told us.
He claims someone took his cash and he knows exactly how much was in there. “I had $213 made up of two $100 bills, a $10 bill and three ones.”
He and his wife Becky say they realized the money was missing when they got to Seattle.
“I think there are a lot of people out there like us who are honest, trusting people,” says Becky Tibshraeny, “It would never enter your mind that this is going on.”
3TV News @ 10 took the Tibshraeny’s claim straight to the TSA.
We asked TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez if they always investigate when someone brings up a claim like this.
He said yes.
“We have a zero tolerance for theft,” Melendez told us when we met with him at Sky Harbor Airport. “We are in a position of public trust.”
3TV News @ 10 obtained a copy of the surveillance video showing Tibshraeny going through security.
The TSA looked at the video as did the Phoenix Police Department and found no evidence of any wrongdoing by TSA agents.
In fact, they say the TSA agents in this case did a great job of screening Tyson Tibshraeny and bringing his wallet to him when he was finished with the pat-down.
The TSA screens 2 million people a year.
Nico Melendez advises passengers, “Keep your stuff together. If you have a money clip, a wallet, business cards in your pocket – put them all in your briefcase. Put them in your carry on. That way it’s a lot easier to keep your eyes on your briefcase than on 5 different bins at the checkpoint.”
As for the Tibshraeny’s, they did file a claim with the TSA and while there was no wrongdoing found, the agency agreed to send them a check for $200.
Tyson Tibshraeny says the whole thing makes him mad because he still has no idea who took the money.
But he’s learned a lesson about traveling, “Keep your money on your person. I will not separate myself from my money.”