Calif. Deputies Catch Man who Stole Airplane, Crashed it On Beach

Feb. 9, 2024
"I've been doing this a long time, this is for sure a first," said a San Mateo County Sheriff's Office spokesman about deputies finding a stolen plane on a Palo Alto beach and hunting down a suspect.

By Noah Goldberg

Source Los Angeles Times

A Florida man purloined a plane in Palo Alto on Thursday and put it down on a beach in Half Moon Bay, according to flummoxed San Mateo County authorities.

The 50-year-old Miami native and suspect, Luiz Gustavo Aires, is accused of committing the grand theft aero around 5 p.m., taking to the skies briefly before touching down just 25 miles away, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said.

"I've been doing this a long time, this is for sure a first," said Javier Acosta, a spokesman for the office.

Deputies got a call about a beached plane, kicking off the hunt for the lost aircraft. Witnesses told the deputies that someone landed the plane, got out and walked away.

After a "thorough search," the deputies located the small red-and-white fixed-wing single-engine aircraft on Poplar Beach in Half Moon Bay. The Federal Aviation Administration lists the plane as owned by a San Mateo-based limited liability company.

Acosta said that deputies learned the plane was stolen from Palo Alto Airport and later located a man who matched the description of the person who abandoned the aircraft.

Aires was booked on suspicion of theft of an airplane and misappropriation of lost property, Acosta said.

_______________

©2024 Los Angeles Times.

Visit latimes.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Sponsored Recommendations

Build Your Real-Time Crime Center

March 19, 2024
A checklist for success

Whitepaper: A New Paradigm in Digital Investigations

July 28, 2023
Modernize your agency’s approach to get ahead of the digital evidence challenge

A New Paradigm in Digital Investigations

June 6, 2023
Modernize your agency’s approach to get ahead of the digital evidence challenge.

Listen to Real-Time Emergency 911 Calls in the Field

Feb. 8, 2023
Discover advanced technology that allows officers in the field to listen to emergency calls from their vehicles in real time and immediately identify the precise location of the...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Officer, create an account today!