A Transportation Security Administration baggage inspector at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport has been indicted in the theft of Apple iPads from luggage over eight months.
Clayton Keith Dovel, 36, of Bedford was arrested Feb. 1 and has been suspended indefinitely, officials said.
The investigation led to the recovery of eight stolen iPads, including one that was among Dovel’s possessions at Terminal E when he was arrested, airport police said.
His attorney, Greg Westfall, declined to comment.
The indictments that the Tarrant County grand jury issued this week charge Dovel with theft by a public servant of items valued at up to $20,000. If convicted, he could face two to 10 years in prison.
According to airport police, a traveler reported Jan. 24 that his iPad 2 had been stolen and that he had traced it electronically to a home in Bedford owned by Dovel.
While arresting Dovel in that case, airport police discovered another iPad in Dovel’s leather satchel. Dovel told authorities that the iPad was his but that he couldn’t remember where he bought it, according to police reports.
Using that iPad’s serial number, police traced it to a Grand Prairie man who had reported that it was stolen as he traveled through Terminal E in May.
In the indictment, Dovel is also accused of stealing iPads in November and early January.
The TSA issued a statement calling the arrest part of a “zero-tolerance policy for allegations of misconduct or theft” at the airport.
“The unacceptable behavior of this individual in no way reflects the dedication of our nearly 50,000 Transportation Security officers who work tirelessly to keep our skies safe,” the agency said.
Dovel is free on $5,000 bail.
By Dianna Hunt, 817-390-7084