She thinks either the TSA took it or a Continental Airline's employee. While I don't trust the TSA, they have apparently left a note in my suitcase every time they have opened it. There was no note in Laura's suitcase.
The looming question, however, is was the suitcase locked. It should have been. If one suitcase is locked and another is not, which one do you think the thief is going to target?
To repeat (because I've done several blogs on to lock or not lock), the TSA doesn't prevent you from locking your suitcase, they only encourage you not to for their convenience should they chose to open it.
They also encourage people to use TSA locks which have special keys that they can use to unlock it. However, if you chose to use an non-TSA lock you can still lock your suitcase. In that case, the TSA will cut off the lock and hopefully secure it with a plastic strip.
Here's what the TSA website has to say on locking your luggage:
"To lock...or not. In some cases screeners will have to open your baggage as part of the screening process. If your bag is unlocked TSA will simply open and screen the contents. However, if you decide to lock your checked bag and TSA cannot open it through other means, then the locks may have to be broken. TSA is not liable for damage caused to locked bags that must be opened for security purposes.
TSA suggests that you help prevent the need to break your locks by using a TSA-recognized locking mechanism. These "special" locks can be opened by TSA using tools provided to us by participating industry members and can be purchased at multiple retail outlets."
Pilfering through suitcases has always been a problem even before the TSA came onboard. It is ignorant not to lock a suitcase that you leave of all things valuable jewelry in.
Thank you Laura Ingraham for bringing this to our attention.