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Man arrested after ‘self-defence’ tool found in his luggage at US airport




A man was arrested earlier this month at Boston Logan International Airport for allegedly carrying a “vampire straw” in his carry-on luggage.

While the name of the device summons thoughts of Dracula and blood-sucking bats, the straws actually have nothing to do with vampires. Here’s what you need to know about the multi-use, self-defence tool.

What is a vampire straw?

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The term “vampire straw” is used to refer to a titanium straw with a pointed edge. Massachusetts police told CNN the straw confiscated from the Traveller had been purchased from Szabo Inc., which sells titanium vampire straws for $85.

The straw has multiple uses, according to Szabo’s product listing. It “allows the user to drink effortlessly any thick shake or smoothie”. But it’s also “designed for self-defence” and is “long enough to be used like a dagger”.

A man was arrested for allegedly carrying a ‘vampire straw’ in his carry-on luggage. Credit: TSA New England

The listing notes the straw can be easily carried in public “without attracting attention” and can also be used to deflate tires. The straw’s “chiselled tip is sharp enough to puncture most synthetic materials,” says the listing.

Szabo did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Are vampire straws legal?

The legality of carrying a vampire straw depends on local knife laws, the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) New England office told CNN in an email.

In Massachusetts, where the man was arrested, it is illegal to carry certain “edged instruments,” including stilettos and daggers, the state police told CNN. State troopers and TSA found that the straw “fit that category,” police said. Violators can be given a fine or sentenced to up to five years in prison if they have prior felony charges.

Additionally, the TSA prohibits carrying most sharp objects in carry-on luggage.