Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Joy Rider Charged

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - A man was arrested on charges of stealing a charter jet and taking it on a 350-mile joy ride from Florida to Georgia, police said Wednesday.

The circumstances of the theft were not clear, but nothing threatening was found on the plane, police spokesman Darren Moloney said. The incident "appears to be a joy ride."

Daniel Andrew Wolcott, 22, of Buford was charged with felony theft and misdemeanor reckless conduct, police said, adding that additional federal charges were expected.

Investigators said they made the arrest after interviewing five people who said they were on the 10-passenger, $7 million Cessna Citation 7 when Wolcott flew it.

The plane, which is owned by Pinnacle Air of Springdale, Ark., was found Monday at the Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field near Atlanta, police said. Moloney said a key is not needed to start the plane. The plane has a lock on the door, but it isn't difficult to pry open, he said.

Wolcott has a commercial rated pilots license but is not licensed to fly that type of plane, police said. The exact circumstances of how Wolcott obtained the plane were unclear.

Bryan Cooper, assistant manager at St. Augustine Airport, said the plane was still there at midnight Saturday but was gone by 5 a.m. The plane landed at Gwinnett sometime between 9 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday.

It had some damage to the front edge of one wing.


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1:08 PM  

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