A Modesto man was arrested this morning for filing a fraudulent lost baggage claim at San Francisco International Airport in late October.
Jose Betances, 39, was arrested around 7:30 a.m. and charged with one count of grand theft following a month-long investigation by the Cargo Theft Task Force, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sgt. Wesley Matsuura said.
Betances, who is unemployed, filed a claim with an unidentified airline carrier at the airport, declaring that his baggage had been lost on his way back from New Jersey on Oct. 29. The investigation, however, revealed Betances had claimed his baggage and departed with his baggage, Matsuura said.
Airline employees processed the claim but alerted the Cargo Theft Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional task force consisting of members of the San Francisco Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
Task force members and sheriff’s office detectives delivered a $1,122 reimbursement check to Betances at his home in Modesto. After he signed the check, authorities served a search warrant at his home where they allegedly recovered the baggage Betances had claimed was lost.
Authorities arrested Betances and seized the baggage for evidence, Matsuura said.
Betances is in custody at the San Mateo County jail in lieu of a $10,000 bail. He will be arraigned on Jan. 25 in South San Francisco.