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Spirit Airlines Passenger Tracks Stolen Luggage to Airport Employee’s Home, Leading to Arrest

Fort Lauderdale, FL – June 4, 2024 – A Spirit Airlines passenger, Paola Garcia, took matters into her own hands when her stolen luggage led her to an airport employee’s home, resulting in his arrest for grand theft. The determined university student’s efforts uncovered a theft operation within Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, capturing the incident on camera.

The ordeal began at Carousel 4 inside Terminal 4 of the airport, where Garcia anxiously waited for her pink hard-shell suitcase. “In my mind, I’m thinking I need my computer because I go to the university, I need my computer no matter what,” Garcia explained. After waiting for two hours without her luggage appearing on the conveyor belt, her panic grew.

Garcia, who usually carries her suitcase onboard, was forced to check it on this occasion. Little did she know, her suitcase had already been taken by 29-year-old Junior Bazile, an airport retail store employee. Pictures from the investigation show Bazile rummaging through her belongings in the back of the store where he worked. According to the police report, Bazile removed a MacBook, two Apple watches, an iPad, jewelry, and designer clothes from Garcia’s suitcase, then placed it in a clear plastic bag.

Spirit Airlines employees reassured Garcia that her luggage had been sent to her home, prompting her to provide her address. However, the following morning, Garcia’s Apple watch began sending a signal from a location far from the airport. “So you’re at home and your watch is pinging at a house in Fort Lauderdale?” asked Local 10 News’ Jeff Weinsier. “Fifteen minutes from the airport,” Garcia confirmed.

Determined to retrieve her belongings, Garcia decided to visit the address, 1017 NW 11th Ct. Upon arrival, she saw suitcases scattered across the property and immediately began recording a video and called 911. “The first thing the police told me was like, ‘What are you doing here? This is so dangerous for you to be here,’” Garcia recounted.

A Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) detective connected the address to Bazile through an internal airport database. Bazile, who was working on the day Garcia’s suitcase was stolen, had already disposed of the stolen items when confronted by authorities. He was arrested and charged with grand theft.

Weinsier visited the house to inquire about the suitcases and speak with Bazile. While Bazile was not home, his mother engaged in a seven-minute conversation with Weinsier, initially cordial but becoming hostile when confronted with the allegations. She grabbed Weinsier’s station ID and refused to return it, then claimed she was being assaulted, all while the police officers observed and the cameras rolled. Despite the physical assault, Weinsier chose not to press charges.

Days later, Bazile appeared in court for a status hearing on the grand theft charge. When questioned by Weinsier, Bazile repeatedly said, “go away.”

In a statement to Local 10 News, Spirit Airlines said, “We issued a reimbursement check to the guest as a courtesy, even though we are not currently aware of any evidence that any Spirit employee was involved. We take any allegation of this nature seriously and are investigating.”

An airport spokesperson clarified that checked passenger bags are under the carrier’s responsibility. Paradies Shops, Bazile’s employer inside the airport, declined to comment.

Garcia suspects a larger theft operation might be at play. “Personally, I don’t think it’s one person working in the airport; I think it’s a group,” she said. “One person can’t just do that, take bags.”

BSO officials continue to investigate, seeking to uncover the full extent of the theft activities at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

 

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Patrick Zarrelli

Tech CEO, Aggressive Progressive, and Unrelenting Realist. @PJZNY Across the Web!!!

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