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Thursday 13 August, 2020

US customs officer stole cash from passenger handbags at JFK, feds say

A US Customs officer stole cash from at least 100 passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport while searching their handbags, federal authorities allege.

This according to an online article on NY Daily News on Thursday.

Thirty-nine-year-old Joseph Cialone admitted he targeted “deep handbags” when he searched international fliers because it was easier to hide his hands as he snatched $100 bills and shoved them into his latex gloves, according to a criminal complaint.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents first learned of his thievery on March 26, when a woman on a Jet Blue flight from Trinidad and Tobago noticed an envelope in her bag was light on cash, authorities said. She stuffed it with $350, but found just $250 after she went through a customs inspection, prosecutors said.

She filed a complaint the next day, and surveillance footage showed Cialone pull out the envelope and put it back into her handbag. As he continued searching the satchel, he took his hand out in a closed fist, shed the latex glove and stash it in his pocket.

After he finished the inspection, he headed toward the bathroom, the complaint alleges.

Agents with Customs’ Office of Professional responsibility started looking at more video, and realized he probably ran the same scam on 11 more women between March 17 and April 16.

The agents watched Thursday as he stole two more $100 bills using the same latex glove trick, and when they pulled him into a private room, he admitted to at least 100 thefts over the past year.

Cialone, of East Meadow, L.I., was released Thursday on a $50,000 bond.

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