June 16, 2024


Airlines deal with millions of bags a year, so it’s understandable that mistakes happen. Unfortunately for Paola Garcia, though, not all missing bags are the result of a mistake. Local 10 New reports that when her suitcase went missing, she was eventually able to track it down, only it wasn’t at the wrong airport. It was in the home of the airport employee who stole it.

Garcia had flown into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and after reportedly waiting about two hours for her bag, she explained her situation to some Spirit Airlines employees at the terminal. They told her not to worry and that her bag would be sent to her house. The next morning, she was able to find her Apple Watch that had been in her bag but noticed it wasn’t at the airport. Instead, it was in a house about 15 minutes away.

Because she had a test later that day, and her laptop was also in her bag, she decided to drive over. When she got there, she saw it was full of suitcases, so she took photos and called the police. “The first thing the police told me was like, ‘What are you doing here? This is so dangerous for you to be here,’” Garcia told Local 10 News.

The address she gave the police matched one in an internal airport database that showed Junior Bazile, an employee of Paradies Shops inside the airport, and he was working the day Garcia’s suitcase was stolen. He has since been arrested and charged with grand theft. While he’d reportedly already gotten rid of the evidence by the time the police showed up, a security camera caught him going through the suitcase in the back of the store.

In a statement, 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 we are investigating.”

It is currently unclear if Bazile was working alone or not, but Garcia doubts he was. “Personally, I don’t think it’s one person working in the airport, I think it’s a group,” she told Local 10 News. “One person can’t just do that, take bags.”

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik.



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