Two men have been charged with stealing luggage from the three major airports in South Florida. Palm Beach International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, and Miami International.
The Miami-Dade Police Department arrested two men on charges of grand theft. The alleged value of the stolen luggage is $25,000.
The men could be charged with multiple counts for each theft, or one count for all of the thefts. Under $20,000 but over $300, and the charge is grand theft in the third-degree. From $20,000 to $100,000 in value, the charge is grand theft in the second-degree.
Grand theft in the third-degree is a third-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Grand theft in the second-degree is a second-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Police officers used airport surveillance video to establish that the two men arrested had committed the crimes.
In addition to grand theft charges, organized scheme to defraud charges are likely considering the well-planned nature of these thefts.
Theft is a crime that requires the state to prove that the accused knowingly deprived another of their property, either temporarily or permanently. A theft must be committed with the intent to deprive.
According to police, the scheme was carried out by the two men where one would stand at the baggage claim and take a piece of luggage while the other waited at the curb with the car.
Eric Matheny is a Miami grand theft lawyer and Broward grand theft lawyer.