TSA Agent Grabs Rick Case's Pen, Faces Grand Theft Charges (Updated)

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The Montblanc StarWalker pen, allegedly taken by Puddie.
Toussain Puddie used to work as a TSA security screener at Terminal 1 of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport -- until he told police last month that he had taken home a pen belonging to local car dealership owner Rick Case. Case decided to press charges, despite Puddie's cooperation in returning the pen.

According to police, Case was preparing to board a Frontier Airlines flight out of Fort Lauderdale on June 5 when he and his wife were selected for special TSA screening. Case removed his $450 black-and-white Montblanc pen from his pocket and placed it in a basket. His wife carried the family cat through the x-ray machine.

Case didn't realize that he forgot the pen at the TSA checkpoint. His daugher Raquel called BSO the following day to report the pen stolen. She told BSO deputies that Case thought he had left the pen at the checkpoint.

A deputy responded to the checkpoint but didn't find anything. Puddie, a 30-year-old TSA employee, says he had seen the pen on top of a filing cabinet and, not knowing it was anything but a stray pen someone had left, took it home.

"I didn't think the pen was worth more than ten bucks," says Puddie.

It wasn't until a few weeks later, on June 22, when he realized the gravity of his action. Police talked with TSA employees, conducting an investigation. Puddie was called into the BSO office at the airport.

"The police told me all he wanted was his pen back," Puddie recalls. He says that he told police he had the pen and that a deputy then drove him to his home, where he retrieved the pen, and drove him back to the airport.

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Updated: For more, click here for the New Times cover story on the missing pen and the investigation that followed.
Then he says deputies told him to sit down and wait. When a deputy returned, Puddie says, "He told me that the owner wanted to press charges."

Puddie had worked at the TSA since April 2009 but was fired after being arrested. The BSO arrest report says Puddie confessed to taking the pen after he was read his Miranda rights.

Puddie says he didn't initially tell anyone he had the pen because "I didn't want to get in trouble."

He spent about 30 hours in jail and was released. He faces grand theft charges. According to police, "The defendant did temporarily or permanently deprive the victim of a right or benefit to his property."

What motivated the two-week hunt for Rick Case's pen? It might be standard procedure, but perhaps BSO is on high alert for TSA thefts after our story of an iPad disappearing down a screener's pants.


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185 comments
anthonyjuice
anthonyjuice

Man takes pen that belongs to a multimillionaire "Rick Case" and this is what he does ,with no remorse for the anyone or anything he pressed charges even after the person gave it up confessing that he only took it cause he thought it was just another pen and something to write with.These people are heartless and really don't care about the well being of others , i would ask, how does he feel now knowing that he cancelled another mans and his family's livelihood but these people are heartless ,you want to witness it firsthand  just visit their business even their employees treat people this way ,from managers to sales persons because they know it's ok for them .Like owner, so is he employees.I have felt the blunt of their heartlessness and now my wife and i are now suffering financially and also lost our dream of owning our own home soon  because of an unfair deal i had with them a couple years ago but to them i say what goes around comes around.

Dr.Iqbal
Dr.Iqbal

Press charges against TSA for not being able to better store lost/found things, but to single out one man who happened to pick it up doesn't seem fair. I own a similar pen valued at $650, but I can also understand if someone was to look at it and think that they had no idea it was worth so much. It's only a pen. Mr. Case if you have any class you could have sought out another way to reprimand Mr. Puddie, but i guess him losing his job wasn't enough for you. "Gray Cat" you simply have no idea about you're talking about other than utter nonsense. if i was to ever be pressed charges on such a ridiculous case you can bet my lawyers will be giving you the run around.

Gielsj
Gielsj

At lwast it wasn't Rick's rolex watch!

Jeff Spicolli
Jeff Spicolli

I have had things stolen from security checkpoints, mostly pre-9/11/01 when they were staffed by $6/hour ignorant nudninks.  I had a Canon Rebel Camera stolen at the Continental checkpoint in SFO in year 2000, and the Police did not give a rats arse.

However some common sense here:  The agent did something wrong, and has already paid a big price by loosing his job.  The D.A. should cut a misdemeanor plea deal so the guy gets another chance without a felony hanging around his neck.  If the lackey pandering Broward Sheriffs looking to get in good with the car dealer or Case himself does not like it, pound sand.

Of course, this assumes the D.A. is not corrupted by the allure of car dealer favoritism either....

GrayCat
GrayCat

How many of you "innocently" picking up pens remember each one?

And if you do this regularly, knowing the pen is not yours in the first place, why do you do it?

Why does it matter how much the pen cost? Property is property; it's valuable to its owner, and in the case of theft, casual or deliberate, someone else, obviously, or it wouldn't be contended for.

As I read the article, Puddie knew of the investigation for a couple of weeks; it was only after it was announced that charges wouldn't be pressed that he turned the pen in; he knew exactly which pen was in question, and why.

He picked it up from the top of a cabinet? Really?

If the pen was properly in a security scanning tray to begin with, but no one made the effort to get it back to its rightful owner, someone was stealing. TSA is supposedly in the "security" business to safeguard and protect passengers and their private property. Nothing at those checkpoints is free for the taking by anyone but rightful owners.

This shows that up for the farce it is.

As someone else pointed out, the pen wouldn't have gone missing in the first place if not for the illegal and invasive "security" measures that divests every person of their rights, property and dignity.

If you think the TSA has and is protecting us, please name one single terrorist/terrorist plot they've saved us from. Just one.

Only idiots and Nazis would see nothing wrong with this violation of basic, innate, inalienable personal rights.

Just because something may be legal doesn't make it right. Legalese is a very bad thing to base an honest and honorable society on.

Davin Untamo
Davin Untamo

all TSA agents should be publicly humiliated and imprisoned.

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Promotional Pens

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BBC24
BBC24

Wow if they are going to charge him for finding a lost item and returning it, we should charge anyone who has found anything and returned it. That or we need to right a new law that says if you steal a person's pen or pencil you should go to jail regardless of the value of the pen (can't dispute a case over a couple of nickels).

Bcslsman
Bcslsman

As someone that knows rick case personally because I worked for him, I can tell you that he is one of the biggerst scumbags and pieces of shit on this planet.  He AND his wife rita (we called them prick and cheetah) were the most cold, insensitive, and inhumane people you will ever meet.  If you were caught stealing from them, (padding your payroll check using various methods) it was called theft, and you were prosecuted immediately.  Yet if they stole from you, (ACCIDENTALLY forgetting to pay a commission on a car you sold, and cutting your agreed upon pay plan many times) it was called business.  Ladies and gentleman, I don't care what you think you know about them, how they give to charities and are pillars of their community, the truth is that they are what you find around the drain of your shower if you don't clean your tub for 10 years or so.  Back in the 70's Mr case was prosecuted for fraud and several other things, (which doesn't mean he shouldn't get a second chance of course), but then let me tell you about his "bikes for kids" program.  For many years he had people donate bikes for underprivilaged children, and this on the surface was a great program.  The bikes would get dropped off at our dealership, then they were supposed to get refurbished and donated to various groups.  Well what we all witnessed was a bit different!  The bikes would be dropped off, the nice ones would be cherry-picked by people that would simply come in and take them, (many non-needy people as was easy to see) then ricky boy had the rest of them thrown in large dumpsters and thrown away!  What a PILLER of the community!  More like a PARASITE folks I am telling you the way it is... signed, employee #  356,210,784,010.

Jamaican_critic
Jamaican_critic

When I first heard about this case I was in shock and disbelief that someone could lose their job and be prosecuted for taking home a stupid (albeit pricey) pen. The prosecutors are going to have a heck of a time proving criminal intent on the part of Mr. Puddie. Mr. Case is only trying to make an example out of this innocent hard working man. If everyone was to go to prison for taking up a pen then I guarantee that these prisons would be overflowing right now. This is ridiculous and a total misuse of the judicial system.

Purplehaven323
Purplehaven323

This is ridiculous!!!! It's just a pen!!! He did not intend on stealing the stupid pen. Who carries around a pen worth more than ten bucks. Omg!!! This whole story just pisses me off!!! Why ruin/damage someones life because you forgot your pen!!! Most car dealers are all snakes and in this case it's obvious that Rick Case is one!!!

I and probably many other people will NEVER buy a car from Rick Case.

anonymous
anonymous

Why were Rick and Rita Case singled out for a special TSA screening anyway?  Because they look like first class nuts?  Were they being arrogant?  Did they think there could be potential WMD's under that woman's  garish hat?  Do these Cases think they're considered pillars of the community?  It just shows the greed of these car dealers.  I hope a bunch of people decide to not shop the Case Dealerships.  Enough to make his business lose the value of thousands of mont blanc pens.  That would be justice.

James Noel
James Noel

Its a shame that something like this had to happen to such a great guy, I've known this guy for years and he is no thief. My girl bought a car from rick case Honda, and after a few days the card started to give her problems. They wouldn't even fix it right away, had to keep going back to get them to fix it. They steal money from hard working people everyday, and this is what he does to a honest man?    

thetruthhurts
thetruthhurts

Tsa mongrels are rapists in the Soetero mold tat will raphe, steal and murder. Soetero never created value in it's entire parasitical existence and wants to kill te USA damn him to hell !

Blu15_03
Blu15_03

When I started reading this article I thought it was a joke. You're telling me that this punishment fits the "alleged crime"? An employee picks up what seems to be a stray pen, not left in "lost and found" but on a cabinet and he not only loses his job but also serves time in jail and faces those type of charges. This is extremely unfair and a waste of time. If the pen was such a "collectors item" why would Mr. Case be carrying it around as an ordinary writing pen? Did it lose more value because it wasn't in his possession for a couple of weeks? I am asking because I really want to know WHAT IS THE POINT of pressing such charges for what obviously was a mistake? Please, this is ridiculous and Mr. Case is ridiculous. I'm so sorry the Mr. Puddie has to go through this nonsense

Natepetit
Natepetit

Rick is a car sales man he steals every day from people. Now his pen ends up missing he gets a honest man arrested for a pen. Come on let's be real who should be going to jail for stealing

Amitc10223
Amitc10223

We are talking about a pen!! What is this world coming to, how many of us pick up pens doing the day. It was not that serious to be arrested over a pen. These charges need to be drop because there was no crime.

AnniP
AnniP

I echo Mr. Kaboom's comment. Rick Case needs to be thankful that the pen was returned and he needs to drop the charges.

Mike Dukes
Mike Dukes

I guess in this 'CASE', the pen really is mightier than the sword... get it? see what I did there? lol. I personally think that it's really messed up to ruin a mans life over a pen. Not cool Rick, not cool. He didn't steal it. 

guest
guest

there are security cameras everywhere. that should clear things up

anonymous
anonymous

If you can get anything off a car dealer, consider it genius, not theft.

anonymous
anonymous

Stealing a pen from a car dealer?  Put the car dealer in jail!  Please.

Kaiviolagirl2007
Kaiviolagirl2007

This is totally not fair... and I'm not saying this because I know Mr. Puddie... Even when he got his pen back, Case is just being a jerk cuz he has the money to press charges... he'll get his just reward... 

glass slipper
glass slipper

Hey Rick Case, when your service writer sells somebody a set of brake rotors at $200 each that you purchase  at $25 each that is worse then stealing, you petty little pathetic person.

  You probably have a gold toilet just like your old buddy Rothstien.

Teamhallmil Ih
Teamhallmil Ih

Ok everyone is talking about how this is a pen the tsa person did not take the pen form case. Case left the pen so in my opinion it bso that don't have nothing to do at the air port that's making something out of nothing

DRealove60
DRealove60

I am absolutely appalled. For something as innocent as picking up a pen, Rick Case is willing to ruin a young man's life? I can't tell how many times people have picked up my pen and walked off with it by mistake and vice versa, but never would I accuse them of being thieves.  It's a pen for Christ's sake, whether it be worth $10 or $450! Let's get our priorities right Rick Case! You will never ever get my business again and I will be sure to spread the word!

Kvlove
Kvlove

It is absurd that the owner of a car dealership would attempt to ruin the life of a hard-working man, simply for returning his property. If the pen were not returned, that would be a different story. However, Rick Case will gain nothing from pursuing this matter in courts. This is another frivolous lawsuit that is wasting tax payers money!

Nirv
Nirv

Wow, I'm sorry for what happened. I can clearly see something like this happening to me because honestly I have no regards for pens because I find myself losing them borrowing them and never giving them back and lending them out and never expecting them back in return because a pen has never been that damn serious, I think TSA is crappy people and I'm sorry but since working with them since 09 couldn't you tell who you were dealing with? I think ruining someone's life for a pen is the most dumbest thing ever why don't the law focus on keeping baby killers Like Ms.Anthony off the streets instead of trying to to send one of innocent people to jail for something so weak! TSA and the Police Department should be ashamed of themselves, people that say it's okay for this to happen you must have done some Sh*tty stuff in your life to think prison isn't serious, We know what type of people should have a criminal record and I know for one he shouldn't based on the severity of the situation, also stop wasting my damn tax money on stupid cases like this, this is clearly a waste of tax dollars and time.... TSA,Rick Case and THE BSO police department please get yourself together. 

Twitch O'sullivan
Twitch O'sullivan

sad story here about my old friend from the school days and a douche bag with a $400 pen... Toussain, keep your head up homie.... this is not right, i have tons of pens i've found from all over....but to lose your job over... and to get arrested... SMH...

Arross
Arross

Rick Case comes off as awfully petty. Not everyone is familiar with luxury goods, but those who own them might be a bit more careful with them before losing an item and ruining someone's life over it. Bet Rick Case can't figure out why caring people have come to find the wealthy among us wanting as human beings.

Toni-Ann
Toni-Ann

Sorry to hear about this. Absolutely ridiculous over a pen! What in the world does anyone need with $450 pen anyway?? Will definitely keep you in my prayers.. 

Wasi [Wah- si]
Wasi [Wah- si]

Dis sum DUM FUKD UP bs... but doe gone shake dat bs. 

Tami Black
Tami Black

we need to protest this! people shouldnt have to sit and take this kind of treatment from these asshols! rick case im going to protest outside your business douuchebag! watch!

Tami Black
Tami Black

f&^k ur stupidass pen! you took someone's only means of income! you jerk! shove that pen where the sun dont shine! 

Tami Black
Tami Black

if he got his property back why press charges? and doesnt the police have anything else to do besides harass ppl over a fucking pen? hes not the only person that holds onto pens. rick case is a douche bag! i am going to write him a letter! give the man his fucking job back and drop the charges asshole! 

Mr. Kaboom!
Mr. Kaboom!

Toussain, evidently there are people that are understandably angry and TSAs, and for good reason. 99.99% of them are missing the point that the TSA polcies are for their safety. However, this is NOT a case about Safety of Travellers, Stolen Property, Innocence or guilt. This is a situation of someone (Rick Case) lashing out on TSAs and their policies and you [Toussain Puddie] are the unfortunate victim caught in the crossfire between Angry Travellers and Airport staff.

What people in this blog need to understand are the facts surrounding this incident. Did Toussain Puddie steal a pen from Rick Case? No! Toussain Puddie was not working at the time Rick Case lost his pen. Did Toussain Puddie find a pen later on that day while at work? Yes. Did Toussain Puddie return the pen upon dicscovering who the owner was? Yes. Did Rick Case appreciate the return of his pen by saying 'Thank You'? No! Rick Case got you fired from your job, threw you in jail, and is pressing charges of Grand Theft as his Thank You for returning his Lost & Found pen. Rick Case is an ungrateful person. Toussain, you did the right thing.

I definitely will not be purchasing any cars from any of Rick Case's 16 dealerships! To ruin a man's Life over a pen, is an outrage.

Liam
Liam

I think it is interesting that when there was a GOP President in office it was all right tohave to get searched and give up your privacy. Now that the person is gone, it’sopen season on TSA Agents.

Rafael Rizo
Rafael Rizo

As hard as it is for someone to find any job out there im sure Dick Case can afford to buy several $450 pens which is probably more than this guy makes in a week he got his little pen back and still screws this poor guy over as if this guy is a pen expert obviously whoever left it on top of a cabinet was unaware of its value either so here's to you DICK!!!

Former Rick Case customer
Former Rick Case customer

It's Case's fault for leaving his "valuable" pen behind.  And the TSA guy gets arrested for being honest.  If he'd just said he never saw the pen, he doesn't get busted and Case doesn't get his pen back.  Way to reward honesty.

Will
Will

This is outrageous. If you find a pen you're either going to a throw it out or b put it in your pocket you will never put it in lost and found. This is an honest man, he gave back the pen.He lost his job and now is facing grand theft charges. Rick Case should be thankful he got his pen back and give the guy a reward. Not press charges!!! This is insane guys.

kb
kb

I hope that Mountblanc explodes all over his ugly soul.

TSA Joe
TSA Joe

Stop whining for this thief. Always excuses. ("I didn't know, I thought,...". B.S.  TSA employees are trained NOT to take "abandoned, misplaced or lost property". What, is this a free-for-all benefit for TSA employees? Hey, just help yourself to whatever, no matter that you claim later that you didn't think it had any real value. Excuses, and poor excuses for a job requiring public trust. Just makes the confidence level rise, doesn't it? 

Why are some of you making excuses for this guy. Character either counts or it doesn't. Where was his judgement? Where is your common sense? 

Ichune27
Ichune27

I surely not going to buy a car there, it sounds like toussain didn't have any intentions on stealing the pen. Hey if I seen a pen laying around I would have picked it up as well.

Gorillanoize1
Gorillanoize1

pressing charges for a pen you forgot……..common son…...

Keisha-Ann
Keisha-Ann

T, I'm just seeing this and wish to comment as follows:-1.In order for you to be charged for theft, both the mens rea and theactus reus have to be present at the same time. It's clear that you didnot intend to appropriate property belonging to another and topermanently deprive them of such property as....from the facts providedyou saw the pen on a cabinet...NOT ON THE PERSON OF ANYONE..and youwere not advised to whom it belonged. the matter should have beenthrown out from then as the elements of the 'so-called' crime were notpresent..hence there is no crime, and I'm failing to understand how ucan be charged for a crime when the 'crime' in question does not exist.2.your employer should have better examined the facts and had your back,you're a good worker and good workers are hard to find and maintaintoday...looking at everything, they seem to be a bunch a cowards whowill not stand up for their own and trust me T, if that's how they are,then you DON'T need them.3. This Case man must be obviouslyhard up on some cash at the last minute and wanted to pawn it, orrrrrrim just down right unhappy and miserable with his own pathetic lifehe's out to make everyone as unhappy and miserable just as heis...Misery DOES love company. but it's obvious im don't know the Godof Toussain Puddieand I will urge you T...although it's gonna be hard remember to "Loveyour enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,and pray for those who spitefully use you" -Luke 6:27-28 and stay bythe right hand of God until he makes your enemy a footstool for yourfeet (Luke 20). These things will come to pass T, God's promises aretrue and he never lies so when says all this...he means it.Ifthis Case person can ..when he has to run a car dealership....find timeto cook up a case for a $450.00 pen it means something is detrimentallywrong with him and his time wasters attorneys who in my opinion underthe circumstances..not just because you are my friend :)...a disgraceto the profession to be wasting time like this.Anyhoos, I knowthis must not be easy for you to be taking, your name being draggedthru the mud for crap such as this, so I pray to God for strength foryou mind, your spirit and your body at this time. Vengeance is theLord's so just pray and sit back and watch him work Wonders in yourlife! Bless you Toussain. 

Misse007
Misse007

Rick Case is a d*ck. I mean what does he have to gain by ruining this young man's life.

shotta
shotta

I read this piece from the Orlando Sentinel.

"In a written statement forwarded by his attorney, Puddie said Friday that he was not the agent who screened Case and was never told about the missing pen. He saw the pen in a cabinet about five hours after Case went through the checkpoint.

"When interviewed by BSO about the pen, I didn't deny anything because it was not my intention to steal any property from anyone," Puddie said. "Had Mr. Case been screened by me, this would not have happened because I always make sure that passengers have their property before leaving the screening area and if they [leave an item behind] I turn it in to management," he said. "

source: http://www.orlandosentinel.com...

This further proves what I have been saying all along. Puddie did not knowingly take another person's property. He didn't screen Case and came to work hours after Case had already left the airport.

WilliamJohnston
WilliamJohnston

IF everyone was arrested that picked up a pen and took it home,then their would be no guards because everyone would be in jail..Anyone who pays $450.00 for a Mont-Blanc pen is stupid anyway. I have had two and they were worthless for anything but a pocket status point..Give me a damn bic and let me alone to write to my hearts content.PS the guy should not be arrested or fired for something like this The pen owner is an a-----efor causing this guy so much grief

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