Spirit Airlines Flyer Tracks Down Her Stolen Luggage To Airport Employee’s Home Using Apple Watch

A Spirit Airlines passenger tracked down her stolen luggage after it vanished at a Florida airport, using one of the stolen items to aid in her search. Paola Garcia, who had been waiting for her pink hardshell luggage at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s baggage carousel, used her Apple Watch to locate her missing belongings.

Garcia had been forced to check her bag, which contained her personal MacBook and two Apple watches, by Spirit Airlines staff before departing from New York. Upon arriving in Florida, she watched other passengers retrieve their bags, but her luggage never appeared. After waiting for “at least two hours,” she was told by Spirit Airlines employees that her luggage would be sent to her house.

The next day, Garcia received a ping from one of her Apple Watches, indicating it was at a residence 15 minutes away from the airport. The ping led her to the home of Junior Bazile, an airport employee who worked at the retail store Paradies Shops at the Fort Lauderdale airport.

Determined to recover her belongings, Garcia went to Bazile’s house, found her suitcase, and called 911. When police arrived, they initially questioned why she was there, noting the danger. Upon investigation, they discovered Bazile had already disposed of her valuables.

Law enforcement found images of Bazile rummaging through Garcia’s suitcase in the back of the store where he worked. Bazile was arrested and charged with grand theft, a felony in Florida if the stolen items are valued over $750. If convicted, he could face five to 30 years in prison and fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.

Garcia expressed concern that Bazile might be part of a larger operation. “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.”

After confirming Garcia’s luggage was stolen, Spirit Airlines issued a reimbursement check, stating, “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.”

This incident is not isolated; in June 2023, two TSA officers at Miami International Airport were caught on surveillance footage allegedly stealing cash and other items from passengers’ luggage at the checkpoint.