Traveler Tracks Down Her Missing Luggage — and Finds It at Florida Airport Worker’s Home

The employee, who worked for a company that operates retail stores at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, was arrested and charged with grand theft

Paola Garcia
Paola Garcia

A Spirit Airlines passenger whose luggage went missing ended up finding it at the home of an airport employee.

Paola Garcia told Florida’s Local 10 that she had been forced to check her pink hard-shell suitcase before her March 3 flight, but it never arrived at Carousel 4 in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s Terminal 4.

“In my mind, I’m thinking I need my computer because I go to the university, I need my computer no matter what,” Garcia told the outlet. “I was waiting there at least two hours.”

While Garcia claims she was told by the airline that her things were being sent to her house, the next morning she discovered that her Apple Watch was sending a signal from a house in Fort Lauderdale.

Because she needed her computer for a test that day, Garcia decided to visit the address, where she says she saw suitcases "everywhere" on the property. She took video of the luggage 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 told Local 10.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office traced the address to Junior Bazile, who worked for a company that operates retail stores at the airport, and confirmed he was working the day of the theft.

Police obtained images of Bazile, 29, allegedly rummaging through Garcia's suitcase in the back of the store at the airport where he worked.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office confirmed to PEOPLE that Bazile was arrested on March 8, and charged with grand theft.

According to the arrest warrant, which was obtained by PEOPLE, the stolen items included an Apple MacBook, iPad, Apple Watch, jewelry, high-end women’s clothing, toiletries and a suitcase.

Related: Man Gets Stopped, Checked by TSA for Carrying Bag Full of SPAM: 'I'm So Embarrassed' (Exclusive)

<p>Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images</p> Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport

Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport

A representative for Spirit Airlines told PEOPLE in a statement, “Regarding this specific case: even though we are not aware of any evidence that any Spirit employee was involved, we issued a reimbursement check to the Guest as a courtesy on May 20, 2024.”

Related: United Airlines Plane Removed From Service for Deep Cleaning After 25 Passengers Felt Sick During Flight

A spokesperson for Paradies Shops, the company Bazile worked for at the airport, told Local 10 in a statement: “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.”

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This isn’t the first recent case of an airline passenger taking matters into their own hands after having their personal items stolen.

NBC4 Washington reported in January that a woman whose laptop was stolen at Dulles International Airport tracked the thief herself using his IP address after he tried to blackmail her via Instagram.

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Read the original article on People.