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TSA worker who stole from LAX luggage was tripped by EBay, officials say

July 25, 2011 |  8:14 am

Getprev A Transportation Security Administration officer charged with stealing watches from luggage at Los Angeles International Airport was allegedly tripped up when one of the timepieces was put up for sale on EBay, officials said.

According to the federal indictment handed down last week, the worker stole an IWC GST chrono perpetual calendar moonphase watch valued at roughly $15,000, a Breitling Crosswind watch valued at about $5,000, a $1,000 Antima watch, a $1,000 Movado watch as well as a $1,000 pre-paid debit card.

A federal grand jury indicted Paul Yashou, 38, of Torrance, on two felony and three misdemeanor theft counts Friday afternoon.

Yashou is alleged to have stolen the items from luggage going through security at LAX’s Terminal 1, the U.S. district attorney’s office said.

Authorities arrested Yashou on June 23 at his home after an investigation revealed the $15,000 watch had been sold to a jewelry store that had tried to sell the item on EBay. The owner of the watch noticed it was listed on the website, prompting the investigation.

Yashou faces the felony counts for the $15,000 and $5,000 watches. Each felony count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The three misdemeanor counts each carry a maximum of one year in prison.

Yashou is due back in U.S. District Court on Aug. 3 for his arraignment.


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Photo: A view of the LAX entrance sign on Century Boulevard. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times