EBay auction leads to TSA theft charges

July 25, 2011 at 3:46 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 25 (UPI) -- An eBay auction led to a Los Angeles airport security worker being charged with stealing expensive watches from travelers' luggage, federal officials say.

Transportation Security Administration officer Paul Yashou, 38, of Torrance, Calif., was indicted on two felony and three misdemeanor theft counts, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

A federal indictment alleges Yashou stole an IWC GST chrono perpetual calendar moon phase watch valued at about $15,000, a Breitling Crosswind watch valued at about $5,000, a $1,000 Antima watch, a $1,000 Movado watch and a $1,000 pre-paid debit card.

Yashou allegedly stole the items from luggage undergoing security checks at Los Angeles International airport's Terminal 1, the U.S. district attorney's office said.

Authorities arrested Yashou after an investigation found the $15,000 watch had been sold to a jewelry store that then tried to sell it on eBay, where it was recognized by its owner, who contacted authorities.

Yashou faces felony counts for the $15,000 and $5,000 watches, charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, the Times reported.

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