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"Airplane stolen at El Monte airport"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 4 Dec 2005 21:01:32 -0600
Sunday, December 4, 2005
Airplane stolen at El Monte airport
By Ruby Gonzales
The Inland Valley (CA) Daily Bulletin
EL MONTE - Vincent McLeod III was going to practice flying on Nov. 20 but
soon learned someone had clipped his wings.
His $316,000 Cessna been stolen from its hangar at El Monte Airport on Santa
And El Monte police say the theft has been reported to Los Angeles County's
Terrorism Early Warning Group. The group is notified when a plane is stolen.
Detective Gabriel Santana said the last time a plane was stolen from the
airport was more than two years ago.
"Plane theft is a rarity," Santana said.
The hangar sported two intact locks, and police said there weren't any signs
of forced entry.
One lock is the owner's and the other belongs to the county.
In addition to the plane, McLeod said the aircraft's maintenance records
also were taken.
"You just wonder about security at the airport," said McLeod, a Whittier
resident. "I think they should lock the airport better."
Airport manager Rafael Herrera said county police told him they would begin
They replaced the county's locks on the hangars about two months ago because
they were old, according to Herrera.
McLeod assumed his lock wasn't replaced. He said one of the tenants told him
there were former airport employees who still had keys to the locks.
Herrera said that wasn't true.
McLeod last saw the plane in August before he went on a trip to Europe.
"I don't know when they took it. It could be used for all sorts of
purposes," he said. "It's a brand new plane. I want my plane back."
It is a fixed-wing, single-engine Cessna 182T with a Global Positioning
System navigation. The plane, which seats four, is white with red and gray
stripes and only had 400 hours of flight time. The number on the tail is
The McLeods bought the plane in 2002 and use it for their business, Budway
Trucking and Warehousing. They fly to meet with customers, according to
McLeod's father, Vincent McLeod Jr.
One of their customers is in the Bay Area, and his son flies to Concord to
visit him. It's more convenient to use the plane than drive, he added.
"It gets you to see customers more often," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call El Monte police at (626) 580-2176.
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