5th security breach at San Jose's airport raises scrutiny

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- We're learning details about the 20-year-old woman who was caught in a secured cargo area last evening at Mineta San Jose International airport. Deanna Predoehl grew up less than 10 miles from the airport.

The airport is once again coming under scrutiny for this, the fifth security breach in less than a year

Deanna Predoehl has been living with her father, uncle and grandmother in Sunnyvale for the past 10 years. She has worked for a janitorial service, at restaurants and at retail stores. But her uncle, who did want his face shown or name used, was surprised to learn of her arrest for trespassing at the airport.

"She lives with me and her dad, and her mom is in Arizona. Maybe she wanted to visit her mom in Arizona. I don't know. She hasn't told me anything about this. It's all completely new to me. It's a surprise," he said.

The uncle also said Deanna has not called any of them for help in getting out of jail.

Neighbors say Deanna doesn't talk to them, but the family is well liked.

"The whole family has always been super nice. Very social people, talk to everyone," said neighbor Janet Baza.

This is the fifth security breach at San Jose's airport. It's looking for funding to raise the height of the six miles of fence surrounding the facility. Yet its spokesperson maintains security is working because she was caught after getting over the fence.

"She was detected so that shows you our layers of security did work," said airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes.

East Bay Congressman Eric Swallwell would disagree that San Jose airport's security program worked, considering Predoehl was able to get all the way onto the airfield without being detected by TSA. He's been an advocate for more security, including perimeter breach notification alerts.

It includes several high profile incidents, like the teenager who stowed away in the wheel well of a flight to Hawaii. And breaches by serial stowaway Marilyn Hartman.

Airport officials say they've been working for about a year with the FAA funded National Safe Skies Alliance to determine the best technologies to use on their fence line.

But a recommendation from them isn't expected until at least the summer.

We can't take drastic measures or responsive measures," Barnes said. "We need to employ the right technology. It takes time and money to employ those measures."

Perimeter security experts say, however, intrusions should be detected before someone climbs over a fence.

"The newer technologies are actually using thermal video just like the military uses, and with the thermal video, combined with video analytics, you can now very accurately detect people over huge areas. And this has really solved the problem," said Sightlogix President & CEO John Romanowich.

Cost can be a roadblock. Such a system could cost millions to install, but San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra, who heads the Transportation Committee, says cost is not an issue.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.