Passenger Tracks Stolen Luggage To Airport Worker’s Home

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A Florida man faces a felony grand theft charge in Broward County after a passenger tracked her stolen luggage to his home, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Junior Geneus Bazile, 29, of Fort Lauderdale, has been charged with grand theft in the third degree.

On March 3, Paola Garcia, a passenger on a cancelled Spirit Airlines flight at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, discovered her luggage was missing after being instructed to retrieve it from the baggage belt at Terminal 4. Garcia’s pink roller bag, containing an Apple MacBook, Apple iPad, Apple Watch, jewelry, high-end women’s clothing, and toiletries, never appeared.

Garcia, who typically carries her suitcase onboard, was compelled to check in this time. After waiting at least two hours for her bag, Spirit Airlines informed her that it had been sent to her house, but it never arrived. Garcia then used an electronic tracker to locate her items, which pinged to an address in Fort Lauderdale.

When Garcia visited the address to retrieve her belongings, she was unable to contact anyone inside. She took video and photos of several pieces of luggage at the location, none of which were hers. Garcia called 911 and was warned by police about the danger of confronting the situation herself.

A Broward County Sheriff’s Office detective discovered that Bazile, an employee at Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail store at the airport, resided at the address. The store’s loss prevention manager provided CCTV footage from the day of the incident, showing Bazile entering the storage room with a pink roller bag matching the description of Garcia’s luggage. The footage allegedly shows Bazile rummaging through the bag and removing the MacBook and other smaller items.

A WPLG video displays images of a man holding a plastic bag containing a pink suitcase and a laptop.

Paradies Lagardère issued a statement saying, “Paradies Lagardère takes this matter very seriously. Immediately upon learning of the incident, this employee was terminated. As this is an ongoing police matter, we have cooperated with the investigation and recommend reaching out to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for more information.”

Bazile pleaded not guilty and posted a $30,000 bond. His next court date is scheduled for August 23, court records show.

Spirit Airlines, in a statement sent to CNN, said: “Even though we are not aware of any evidence that any Spirit employee was involved, the airline issued a reimbursement check to the woman whose luggage was stolen, as a courtesy.”

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