A Passenger Tracked Down his Stolen Luggage at the Home of an Airline Employee


A passenger tracked down his stolen luggage at the home of an airline employee.

The passenger tracks the missing luggage to the home of an airport convenience store worker, who is now charged with felony theft.

A Florida man has been charged with felony grand theft after a passenger tracked her stolen luggage to his home in Fort Lauderdale.

The man, Junior Genius Bazile, was an employee at the Paradies Lagardere Travel Retail store at the airport and was caught on CCTV searching through stolen luggage.

Spirit Airlines issued a reimbursement check to the victim, but the accused man pleaded not guilty and posted bail.

A Florida man faces a felony grand theft charge in Broward County after a brave airline passenger who was scheduled to fly out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in March tracked her stolen luggage to the man's home, according to a probable cause affidavit in the case.

Junior Genius Bazile, 29, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged with third-degree grand larceny.

The affidavit said the victim was scheduled to depart 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 retrieve their checked baggage on the baggage belt in Terminal 4.

Paola Garcia told CNN affiliate WPLG in Miami that she usually takes her bag on the plane, but this time, she was told she had to check it. Garcia said she waited at least two hours to get her pink suitcase, which contained an Apple MacBook, Apple iPad, Apple Watch, jewelry, luxury women's clothing, and toiletries. It never came off the luggage belt.

In her interview with WPLG, Garcia said Spirit Airlines told her her luggage was being sent to her home. The luggage never came. But Garcia explored another path using her electronic tracking device.

Garcia, who was not named in the affidavit, later examined electronic items inside the bag to try to locate them, and testing showed them at an address in Fort Lauderdale, the affidavit said.

Track her luggage

The affidavit said she retrieved her items from the address but could not contact anyone inside the home. While at the home, she took video and still photos, and she saw "several pieces of belongings at the front of the house," none of which were hers.

Garcia told WPLG she called 911. "The first thing I remember the police telling me was, 'What are you doing here?' It is very dangerous for you to be here."

When a Broward County Sheriff's Office investigator searched the address in airport employee databases, he found Bazile reportedly living there.

According to the affidavit, Bazile was listed as working at the Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail store at the airport and was working on the day of the robbery.

The store's loss prevention manager was contacted, and he provided the investigator with internal security camera footage from the day of the incident. The footage allegedly showed Bazile entering the store's stock room carrying a pink-covered bag, matching the description of the stolen bag, and searching through luggage, the affidavit said. He then appeared to take the MacBook and other smaller items from the luggage and put them in other bags.

The WPLG video shows images of a man carrying a plastic bag with a pink suitcase and a laptop.

"Paradies Lagardère takes this matter very seriously. Upon learning of the incident, this employee was terminated. Since this is an ongoing police matter, we have cooperated with the investigation and recommend contacting the Fort Lauderdale Police Department for further information," the company told CNN after Wednesday afternoon.

After being charged with third-degree grand larceny, Belize pleaded not guilty and posted $30,000 bail. His next court date is set for August 23, court records show.

CNN has reached out to Bazile and his public defender for comment.

In a statement, Spirit Airlines told CNN that while it is "not aware of any evidence that any Spirit employee was involved," the airline has issued a compensation check to the woman whose luggage was stolen "as a matter of court."

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