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Tampa woman arrested at airport with suspicious gift cards, liquor and jewelry

A 24-year-old Tampa, Fla. woman was arrested Thursday morning at Buffalo Niagara International Airport by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority police after numerous suspicious items were found in her checked-in suitcase, investigators said.

Lilibeth Lahitte’s suitcase contained more than $30,000 in gift cards, two stolen credit cards, various pieces of expensive jewelry and bottles of top shelf liquor, NFTA spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer said.

She was charged with felony counts of possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and is being held until her arraignment Friday in Cheektowaga Town Court. The U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are assisting in the investigation.

The suitcase triggered an alert as it was being screened before being placed on a plane she was planning to board. Transportation Security Administration personnel called NFTA, and Lahitte was arrested when she would not explain the items in her suitcase.

Hartmayer said she was arrested at a gate as she was about to board a flight back to Tampa.