Local police reported that 22-year-old Alexander Shae Johnson, who had been a TSA employee for just a few months, was arrested and charged with third-degree felony grand theft.
She noticed a bulge coming from Johnson's left shirt pocket and asked whether it was her money, but the agent insisted it was his cash and that he got it from the bank. But surveillance cameras captured him in the act, reaching into the bag and putting the money in his pocket.
The money was returned to the passenger and Johnson was arrested. He was taken to the Orange County Jail and has since been released on bail.
A TSA spokesman said Johnson was fired and that the agency "has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace."
"TSA officers represent a professional and honorable workforce that is trained to treat passengers and their personal belongings with care and respect," an official statement said.
Police say the video footage cannot be released while the investigation is ongoing.