The rainbow atomic symbol t-shirt should have been a clue.
Sam Brinton, who is said to have sticky fingers The Biden administration’s nuclear official was caught on security footage leaving with a handbag worth more than $3,670 from a Las Vegas airport on July 6. KLAS News reported.
A surveillance photo from Harry Reid International Airport shows a stern-faced Brinton, wearing a white T-shirt with the color symbol, a black backpack and black jeans, rolling the suitcase in question through the airport.
The distinctive T-shirt — which Brinton wore in a selfie posted to Instagram that day — prompted the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to issue a warrant for Brinton’s arrest on charges of grand larceny, according to a detective’s statement.
Last month, Brinton, deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposal at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, is charged in the September theft of a woman’s suitcase from Minneapolis Airport.
Las Vegas security footage showed the luggage, containing $1,700 worth of jewelry, $850 worth of clothing and $500 worth of makeup, police said, being removed from the airport’s baggage carousel by “an elderly white male wearing a white t-shirt with a large design of a rainbow-colored atomic nuclear symbol,” the detective wrote.
The man “demonstrated several signs of unusual behavior while taking the victim’s luggage, which is a signal that suspects typically give when they commit luggage theft,” according to the affidavit, then grabbed the bag from the carousel and sped away with it.
The victim, who called police on July 10, described her missing bag as a gray, hard “Away” brand “Bigger Carry-On” valued at $320.
Initially, police were unable to identify the thief from the recording and closed the case. But on Nov. 29, when the Las Vegas investigator saw media reports of the Minneapolis indictment against Brinton, the officer “immediately recognized” the Energy Department employee “as a suspect associated with this case.”
Police determined that Brinton traveled on the victim’s flight from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas on July 6 and discovered the nuclear rainbow selfie.
“Thank you @americannuclear for selling me such a great shirt to wear on my flight today,” Brinton wrote in the post. “My professional community continues to grow and learn and I am proud of them. Lord, how we have changed since my service as branch president and then on the National Board of Directors. #NuclearPride.”
“We demand Sam Brinton’s resignation and implore you to put aside petty politics and appoint only the most qualified and dedicated individuals to impact America’s energy sector,” Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia and 15 other Republicans wrote to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday.
Brinton, who faces up to five years in prison for the Minnesota theft and up to 10 years in prison for the Las Vegas robbery, was placed on leave when the first charge came to light, according to a Department of Energy spokesman.
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