The rainbow atomic symbol T-shirt should have been a clue.
Sam Brinton, the allegedly sticky-fingered Biden administration nuclear official, was captured on security footage making off with a woman’s bag worth more than $3,670 from a Las Vegas airport on July 6, KLAS News reported.
A surveillance snap from Harry Reid International Airport shows a stern-faced Brinton wearing the white T-shirt with the colorful symbol, a black backpack, and black jeans, rolling the suitcase in question through the airport.
The distinctive tee — which Brinton sported in a selfie posted to Instagram that same day — led the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to issue a warrant for Brinton’s arrest on grand larceny charges, according to a detective’s declaration.
Last month Brinton, the deputy assistant secretary for spent fuel and waste disposition at the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, was charged in the September theft of a woman’s suitcase from a Minneapolis airport.
The Las Vegas security footage from that showed the luggage — containing $1,700 worth of jewelry, clothing valued at $850, and $500 of makeup, police said — being removed from the airport’s baggage carousel by “a white male adult wearing a white T-shirt with a large rainbow-colored atomic nuclear symbol design,” the detective wrote.
The man “demonstrated several signs of abnormal behavior while taking the victim’s luggage which are cues suspects typically give off when committing luggage theft,” according to the declaration, then grabbed the bag off the carousel and walked away with it quickly.
The victim, who filed a police report on July 10, described her missing bag as a gray, hard-shell “Away” brand “Bigger Carry-On” valued at $320.
Police were initially unable to identify the thief from the footage and closed the case. But on Nov. 29, when the Las Vegas investigator saw media reports of the Minneapolis accusation against Brinton, the officer “immediately recognized” the Energy Department employee “as the suspect pertaining to this case.”
Police found that Brinton had traveled on the victim’s flight from Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. to Las Vegas on July 6, and uncovered the nuclear-rainbow selfie.
“Thank you to @americannuclear for selling such a great shirt for me to wear on my flight today,” Brinton wrote in the post. “My professional society continues to grow and learn and I’m proud of them. Goodness how we have changed since my service as a chapter president and then on the National Board of Directors. #NuclearPride.”
Brinton, who uses they/them pronouns, has been feted as one of the federal government’s first gender non-binary officials — but a group of House Republicans is clamoring for Brinton’s removal over the alleged thefts.
“We demand the resignation of Sam Brinton, and we implore you to set aside petty politics and appoint only the most qualified and dedicated individuals to influence America’s energy sector,” Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia and 15 other Republicans wrote to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Tuesday.
Brinton, who faces up to five years in prison for the Minnesota theft and up to 10 years jail time for the Las Vegas heist, was placed on leave when the first allegation came to light, according to an Energy Department spokesperson.