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2 Men Face Trial in Theft of Luggage

August 01, 1991

Two men suspected of stealing more than 100 pieces of luggage from airline passengers were ordered to stand trial after a Glendale court hearing.

Glendale Municipal Judge Joseph DeVanon on Monday ordered Luis Munoz Cardenas, 40, of Glendale and Jorge Castillo, 42, to appear for arraignment Aug. 13 in Pasadena Superior Court.

The men were arrested July 9 after Glendale narcotics investigators said they saw them take a suitcase from an outdoor baggage carousel at Burbank Airport. Police initially identified Cardenas as Benito Filemon Maya, but that name was determined to be an alias, authorities said. Authorities said they did not know Castillo's address.

At Cardenas' apartment in Glendale police found more than 100 pieces of luggage, apparently stolen from passengers at Burbank Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and other airports.

Castillo and Cardenas were charged with grand theft, burglary and attempted grand theft. Cardenas faces an additional charge of receiving stolen property. The charges stem from the July 9 incident at Burbank Airport and the theft one day earlier of an attache case at Los Angeles airport, authorities said.

The attache case was filled with cash, checks and jewelry, with a total value of more than $25,000, Deputy Dist. Atty. Kimberly Leong said. One of the men took the attache case while the other distracted its owner at a car rental counter, the prosecutor said.

Ruth Romero, 32, who lived with Cardenas, was also arrested and charged with receiving stolen property.

Leong said she argued in court that Romero must have known about the stolen luggage and should also stand trial, but DeVanon disagreed and dismissed the charge.

Castillo and Cardenas remained in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail each, the prosecutor said.

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