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Passenger follows missing luggage home from airport shop worker, now charged with theft – KION546

By Rebekah Riess and Forrest Brown, CNN

(CNN) — A Florida man is facing a grand larceny charge in Broward County after a brave airline passenger scheduled to fly out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in March followed her stolen luggage to the man’s home, according to the probable cause affidavit cause in the case.

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

The victim was scheduled to leave the airport on a Spirit Airlines flight on the evening of March 3, but the airline canceled the flight and told all passengers they could pick up their checked luggage at the baggage carousel at Terminal 4, the affidavit said.

Paola Garcia told CNN affiliate WPLG in Miami that she normally takes her suitcase on board, but this time she was told to check it. Garcia said she waited at least two hours for her pink rolling bag, which contained an Apple MacBook, Apple iPad, Apple Watch, jewelry, luxury women’s clothing and toiletries. It never made it to the baggage carousel.

In her WPLG interview, Garcia said Spirit Airlines told her her luggage had been sent to her home. The luggage never came. But Garcia explored a different path with her own electronic tracker.

Garcia, not named in the affidavit, later pinged the electronic items in the bag to try to locate them, and the ping showed them at an address in Fort Lauderdale, the affidavit said.

Track down her luggage

She then went to pick up her belongings at the address, but was unable to contact anyone at the home, the affidavit said. While she was at the home, she took video and photos, during which she “observed several pieces of luggage near the front of the home” that did not belong to her, the affidavit said.

Garcia told WPLG she called 911. “The first thing I remember was the police saying to me, ‘What are you doing here? It’s so dangerous for you to be here.’ “

When a Broward County Sheriff’s Office detective searched the address in the airport’s employee databases, he discovered that Bazile reportedly lived at the address.

Bazile was listed as working at a Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail store at the airport and was at work on the day of the theft, according to the affidavit.

The store’s loss prevention manager was contacted and provided the detective with internal camera footage from the day of the incident, which reportedly showed Bazile entering the store’s storage area with a pink shell roll bag, which matched the description of the stolen bag, and started sniffing around. by the luggage, the affidavit said. He then appeared to remove the MacBook and other smaller items from the luggage and place them in other bags.

A WPLG video shows photos of a man holding a plastic bag containing a pink suitcase and holding a laptop.

“Paradies Lagardère takes this matter very seriously. This employee was fired immediately after learning of the incident. Because this is an ongoing law enforcement matter, we have cooperated with the investigation and recommend contacting the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for additional information,” the company told CNN on Wednesday afternoon.

After being charged with grand larceny in the third degree, Belize pleaded not guilty and posted $30,000 bail. His next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 23, court records show.

CNN has contacted Bazile and his public defender for comment.

In a statement, Spirit Airlines told CNN that while they are “not aware of any evidence that a Spirit employee was involved,” the airline “as a courtesy” issued a check to the woman whose luggage was stolen.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso contributed to this report.

The CNN Wire
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