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Man arrives to find car vandalized at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

Wife received call from deputies informing her vehicle had been vandalized

BMW gutted in parking garage of Fort Lauderdale airport
BMW gutted in parking garage of Fort Lauderdale airport

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – When you park your vehicle at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, you assume it will be safe.

However, that was not the case for one person who arrived to find his wife's car gutted, missing the battery, speakers and nearly the entire dashboard.

Shattered windows of a silver BMW X5 is what Francesco Rispoli arrived to find early Thursday. His wife, Lena, parked the luxury SUV in the Cypress long-term parking garage at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Monday before leaving for a trip to New York to visit her sick father.

"I was shocked. I was not expecting the parking garage at the airport, which probably should be the most safe place where you can leave your car," Rispoli said.

Less than a week later, Lena said she received a call from Broward Sheriff’s deputies informing her the vehicle had been vandalized. Her husband showed up to pick up the SUV.

"All the dashboard is missing," Rispoli said. "The airbag, the steering wheel, the airbag, the satellite -- nothing is there."

Lena posted the video to Twitter, alerting FLL, and while they did respond with concerns, it is Rispoli and his wife who are now left with thousands of dollars in damage.

Rispoli said he reached out to the airport to see if there were cameras that may have captured what happened to his wife's SUV, but where she parked, there wasn't a single camera in sight.

"They told me, 'There is no camera in this section. There is only a camera in front of the elevator,' so how safe is this place?" Rispoli said.

A tow truck was forced to lift the vehicle by all four tires because without a steering wheel, it was unable to turn. Rispoli was forced to pay for parking the entire time his wife's SUV was in the garage.

Local 10 News contacted the airport about security in the garage.

"The safety and security of our patrons is of the utmost concern and importance to the Broward County Aviation Department," said Gregory Meyer, public information officer for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. "We do not discuss security camera coverage. The case is being investigated by the Broward Sheriff's Office."

Rispoli said he will file a claim with his insurance but wants travelers to be aware of the risk they are taking when leaving their car at FLL.

About the Author:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.