Miami-Dade Airport Police showed off a plethora of stolen baggage that they believe was taken by two men, Juan Fidalgo and Alis Jimenez. Items from smartphones to prescription drugs to jewelry were all taken from stacks of bags, and authorities said the thefts were easy.
“As simple as just going to a carousel as if they arrived from a flight,” said Detective Kalika Parker of Miami-Dade Police.
Fidalgo and Jimenez were arrested on Monday after police said they stole bags over the months of June and July. Police said they have surveillance video of the duo that showed the thieves picking up the bags from the carousels as if they were tourists and then walking away in the terminal.
Police said the alleged thieves admitted to stealing bags at Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and Palm Beach International Airport. The ease of the crime is striking to both law enforcement and travelers.
“There was a time where bag tags, bag claim tags were checked before you exit the terminal,” said Detective Parker. “I’m not sure why it’s not done anymore?”
Jonathan McPharlin arrived in South Florida Tuesday and said that the crime made some sense and the lack of security was obvious.
“I’d like to say it’s a great idea,” said traveler Jonathan McPharlin. “No better way to get money in this economy than stealing someone’s baggage. It is kind of ironic that you have all this security coming into the airport; you gotta go through scans and the TSA checkpoints, but leaving, there’s nothing here.”
Detectives said the items that were stolen by the alleged thieves were likely headed to South America to be re-sold.