Luggage Security; Your zipper lock is useless
The security straps shown are easily hacked due to being adjustable while locked
In addition to the flyer data, Markeith Ward is also wanted for the Dec 2016 Orlando,FL ambush shooting homicides of his ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon who was pregnant with their child. Loyd then shot and critically wounded her brother who is recovering.
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Like the majority of people, you put your luggage into zippered bags when traveling. You may feel that your packed items are safe due to a travel lock you joined your zippers with. That safety is an illusion. This article does not reveal anything that crooks don't already know. They prefer you don't read this. As shown in the video below, zipper locks are easily defeated without any tampering to the lock itself. A simple ball pint pen is used to exploit the zipper. Once a thief plunders your bag, the zipper is easily restored to it's original condition and you're none the wiser. In foreign countries, this hack can even be used to place items into your luggage for the purpose of framing you or making you an unwilling mule. At your destination baggage claim, your item gets taken by a bad guy, the contraband is removed and they place your bag back onto the carousel for you to claim. Especially in foreign countries, you are fully responsible for items in your luggage. If the contraband is detected before pick-up, you take the fall.
Baggage hacks are such a big issue that companies now sell T.S.A. approved security straps. The idea is that a traveler puts this lockable belt around their luggage so If the zipper is compromised the lid cannot be opened. This is also an illusion. The straps are adjustable. After hacking the zipper by ball point pen, a crook can use the adjustment feature to open the strap as wide as they want to lift the lid. The strap then gets replaced into the original position and the traveler is none the wiser.
The true remedy is to limit the rotation of the zipper pull tabs. We recommend a strong leather security strap with grommet holes and a buckle. A man's XXL belt can also be used. Place the strap around the bag just as you would a normal security strap. However, make sure that once buckled, a hole on the threaded end is aligned with the joined ends of the zipper pull tabs. Now place a lock through the strap hole and both ends of the joined zipper pulls. The result is that you have just locked the pull tabs to the strap which limits the zipper pull tab rotation around the bag. Thieves can still hack your zipper, but they'll be unable to re-zip the bag and you'll be able to plainly see the bag was tampered with. Inspect your bag immediately at pick-up and report any compromised luggage immediately. Especially in foreign countries, take an immediate cell photo of the hacked bag and email it to yourself as a back-up in case you get into any legal tangle.
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UPDATED 2017/10/01 - Base Page
Lisa Daftari is a journalist & commentator who is Editor and Chief at The Foreign Desk news. She covers the Middle East, National Security & counter-terrorism. Follow her @LisaDaftari
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