NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens man stood charged Friday with stealing $30,000 in luggage and valuables from singer John Legend at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown alleged that Legend was returning to New York from France when Augustin Hilario, 63, of Corona, took a Louis Vuitton carry-on bag that belonged to Legend from a luggage cart where it had been left momentarily unattended.
When someone went to get the bag, it was gone, prosecutors said.
The bag contained a pair of Cartier cufflinks with clear and green stones worth $25,000, as well as other personal items and clothing, according to prosecutors. The bag itself is worth $3,000, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said security footage showed Hilario approaching the cart and pushing it away from the area, taking the bag, and leaving the scene.
Hilario was identified by a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officer who recognized him from the security camera images and made contact with him, prosecutors said.
Hilario allegedly said, “I know I should not have taken it. I made a mistake.” He also claimed he only planned to give the bag to lost and found.
Hilario did surrender the bag and its contents to Port Authority police, who in turn gave it back to Legend, prosecutors said.
He was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property, prosecutors said.