TSA: Man tried to smuggle box cutters through Harrisburg airport

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said a man tried to sneak box cutters through a TSA checkpoint in Harrisburg International Airport, including inside the lining of one of his shoes, on July 7, 2019.

A man tried to take box cutters past a TSA checkpoint inside Harrisburg International Airport over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, according to the feds.

It happened Sunday, July 7, said Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the federal Transportation Security Administration.

The man, whose name and hometown weren't made public, removed his shoes to go through the checkpoint's X-ray machine, which is when TSA workers discovered he had "artfully concealed" a flat box cutter under the lining inside one of his shoes, she said.

"We call this a good catch," Farbstein told The York Dispatch.

Two other flat box cutters and a standard utility knife were then found in his checked bag, according to Farbstein.

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said a man tried to sneak box cutters through a TSA checkpoint in Harrisburg International Airport on July 7, 2019.

"When asked why there was a box cutter in his shoe, the man changed his story several times, claiming that he worked for a delivery service, that it slipped in, and that he didn't know how it could have suddenly appeared under the lining of the sole of one of his dress shoes," she said.

TSA workers seized the box cutters and utility blade, after which the man was allowed to catch his flight, according to Farbstein.

"The decision was made he was no longer a threat," she said. "He could have been denied permission to fly for the day and (forced to) rebook his flight." 

The man was not arrested and is not under investigation because it's not illegal to be in possession of a box cutter at an airport, Farbstein said. 

Knives of all sorts are the most common prohibited item brought into airports, according to Farbstein. TSA checkpoint workers have seen butter knives, Boy Scout knives, keychain knives, Swiss army knives — all kinds of bladed weapons, she said.

Farbstein noted knives are found and seized more often than lighters.

Typically, she said, when someone show ups inadvertently with a knife, the person can run it back to his vehicle, place it in a checked bag, hand it off to someone who isn't flying or to hand it over to the TSA.

In this case, the TSA seized and will keep the man's knives, Farbstein said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.