Two men have been arrested and charged with stealing multiple pieces of luggage from all three major airports in South Florida (Palm Beach International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, and Miami International Airport).
Miami-Dade Police arrested Alis Jimenez, 41, and Juan Fidalgo, 37, on charges including felony grand theft, accusing them of stealing roughly $25,000 in luggage from Miami International Airport.
Police said on multiple occasions Jimenez and Fidalgo were seen on camera stealing bags from the bag carousels in Terminal J and Terminal D at Miami International Airport. Miami-Dade Police listed four occurrences of luggage theft at Miami International.
According to Miami-Dade Police, Fidalgo would take the bags while Jimenez would wait curbside and load luggage to be hauled away.
Police said Fidalgo is charged with 16 counts of grand theft and Jimenez faces two counts of grand theft. Fidalgo appeared before a judge and entered a not guilty plea. Jimenez hasn’t gone before a judge as of Monday night.
While airport theft is not new, there are some steps that passengers can take to keep their luggage safe during their travels.
“Don’t pack electronic items and items like jewelry and laptops and iPods and you’d be shocked that people do that,” said Chris Sloan, who produced the show Airport 24/7. “The blue Samsonite and the grey American Tourister all look alike. Get one that is very much unique--identify it--mark it so you can see it when it’s coming around the belt. Be in the closest position when it coming around the belt and watch.”
Police said most of the luggage that was stolen has already been returned, but there is still some left behind. If you’re missing a bag and traveled in June or July, police ask that you come to the Airport Police Station at MIA Tuesday at 10 a.m.