Waiting for checked luggage can sometimes fill airline passengers with anxiety.
"You never know what's going on out back or even up front if you're not here on time," said Marcie Manco, a passenger flying through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on Tuesday night.
In most cases the baggage eventually turns up. However, in at least five instances, checked luggage at Miami International and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports disappeared. And police say it was a husband and wife duo, 44-year-old Sean Maxwell and 42-year-old Lorina Flint, who were stealing property, by hanging out at airport carousels pretending to be passengers.
Police looked through airport surveillance video after a pattern of instances where luggage that had been scanned in by some airlines, including Delta and United Airlines, were reported missing by the passengers upon arrival. According to authorities, the surveillance video showed a well-dressed man loading other people's luggage into a
Smarte Cart and walking away.
An airline employee who had seen a flyer with Maxwell's still photo from the video, recognized him and confronted him. Maxwell ran away but Broward Sheriff's Office deputies quickly caught up with him and his wife, who was driving the getaway car, the BSO said.
The thefts started in March but ended on Sunday. Flint and Maxwell face charges including grand theft and organized scheme to defraud.
Some people believe more security and vigilance from passengers are the keys to prevention.
" I guess people need to be more aware too because if people see odd behavior then they could report it," Manco said.