A 36-year-old man was reportedly caught living inside one of the nation's largest airports for three months on Saturday.
Aditya Singh, of Los Angeles, was charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and theft after admitting to prosecutors he was afraid to fly home from O'Hare International Airport due to COVID-19, ABC 7 Chicago reports.
Cook County prosecutors said Singh was found with an O'Hare Airport employee's misplaced credentials and managed to spend three months living inside a secure area of the building.
Singh initially arrived at O'Hare's Terminal 2 after a flight from Los Angeles on October 19 and, according to prosecutors, spent the past three months living in the airport's security zone.
"That is an egregious violation after over $100 billion has been spent on aviation security in this country in the last 20 years," said Michael Masters, CEO of the Secure Community Network, via ABC 7 Chicago.
On Saturday, Singh was confronted by two United Airlines employees who asked to see his work ID, which matched one reported to be stolen by an airport operations manager, according to prosecutors.
After being taken into custody, Singh told authorities that he found the credentials and decided to stay at the airport because he was afraid of flying home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Security experts noted that the incident should have been prevented from happening due to multiple levels of TSA safety and security at O'Hare.
"Those men and women have been under-resourced, have been under-trained, and they haven't been provided the equipment they need to do the job, so I think it's really important we don't dismiss this," Masters said via ABC 7 Chicago.
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