DENVER (CBS4) – A man who traveled through Denver International Airport last week is missing something that is valuable to him after it was stolen at the security checkpoint.

“It’s like being stabbed in the heart.”

Buck Deane wants his watch back.

“It’s just really important to me,” he told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.

Buck Deane (credit: CBS)

Buck Deane (credit: CBS)

On Sept. 30, the 76-year-old Carbondale man traveled to DIA to catch a flight to Alabama to visit his son. He placed his rose gold Rolex in the bins at the TSA security checkpoint.  The cherished timepiece had been a gift from his wife and son.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“You have a couple of gifts of a lifetime. I suppose that would be the way to say it. That’s what that would be,” says Deane.

After passing security and picking up his bin, Buck noticed the watch was gone. Agents looked at surveillance video and found an unlikely thief. They told Buck a female passenger with her small child had taken the watch before it reached the scanner and stuffed it in her bag.

“He said, ‘See that bag. Your watch is in the bag.’ She had the child in a little push thing and she had gone on down the way,” says Deane.

(credit: Denver Police)

(credit: Denver Police)

The woman disappeared into the crowd and hasn’t been seen since.

Buck flew to Alabama heartbroken.

“You feel really, really violated,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The TSA says it doesn’t have any hard numbers, but passenger-on-passenger thefts do occur. And as Denver police search for this brazen bandit, Buck is hoping justice will come in just a matter of time.

“I would love to get my watch back and I think she should answer for what she did,” said Deane.

The TSA says there are ways to protect your valuables in the security checkout line. Visit <a href=”http://“>tsa.gov for more information.

Tom Mustin is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor. He has been with CBS4 since 2002, and is always looking for great story ideas. Follow Tom on Twitter @TomCBS4.