By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police believe they have caught a prolific bag thief who stole luggage off baggage carousels at Denver International Airport 16 times. It happened over the course of several months in 2018, costing victims nearly $30,000. Brandon Michael Camacho-Levine is under arrest.

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“I thought it was lost,” said one of the theft victims, Angelo Pedro. The Bennett man was returning to DIA from a trip to Wichita in November when he went to claim his bag. “After an hour, it’s pretty obvious our bags weren’t coming,” said Pedro.

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CBS4’s Brian Maass interviews Angelo Pedro. (credit: CBS)

He soon heard from a Denver police detective who indicated Pedro’s bag was likely stolen by a serial bag thief who plagued DIA carousels late last year.

Airport police reviewed surveillance video and noticed the same man lurking around the baggage carousels during the thefts. They soon identified Camacho-Levine, 28, as their suspect.

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“This is the person who has stolen multiple pieces of luggage from the baggage carousels of Denver International Airport, belonging to multiple passengers,” wrote Denver police in a search warrant affidavit. They said passengers lost a cumulative $28,247 worth of personal belongings inside their suitcases.

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Investigators said they found Camacho had rented a storage locker in Adams County. According to the police affidavit, they found several pieces of stolen luggage in Camacho’s storage locker.

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The Denver District Attorney has charged Camacho with one count of felony theft.

Angelo Pedro says he was frustrated with the theft, but also with United Airlines, which he said didn’t return his phone calls about his stolen bag.

“It’s just pretty disappointing, pretty disappointing,” said Pedro. He says the contents of his bag were worth about $2,500. In the future he says, he will likely try to carry on rather than check his bag.

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DIA officials have previously said that while luggage thefts do occur, it’s only a small percentage of the approximately 11 million bags that pass through the airport each year.

Brian Maass