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Thursday, September 27, 2012, 05:10 pm PT (08:10 pm ET)

ABC News uses iCloud to track a stolen iPad to TSA officer's home

An investigation into frequent thefts at American airport security screening checkpoints resulted in a stolen iPad being tracked to a TSA officer's home, using Apple's 'Find My Phone' iCloud service.

In a sting operation conducted by Brian Ross of ABC News, iPads and cash were left behind in airport security checkpoints.

In nine of the ten airports visited, passengers were asked to return to pick up their belongings, which were clearly labeled with their name and contact information.

However, after an iPad went missing in Orlando, the news organization tracked it back to the home of TSA officer Andy Ramirez, where reporters confronted the man and asked him if he had it. He repeatedly said he did not have it.



The reporters then set off iCloud's audible alert, which began ringing inside Ramirez's house. Only after taking off his TSA uniform did he return and acknowledge that he did in fact have it, but he continued to insist that he did not take it, initially blaming his wife for obtaining it.

"I'm so embarrassed," Ramirez told reporters. "My wife says she got the iPad and brought it home," he said.

When told he was filmed handling the iPad at airport security, and that it was tracked back to his home afterward, Ramirez stopped talking.

The TSA said Ramirez is no longer working for the agency. It noted that it has fired 11 officers for theft this year, and a total of 381 dating back to 2003.