US charges homeless man after plane stolen and crashed in Maryland

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Police from Frederick in Maryland, US have charged a homeless man with three offenses after a light aircraft was stolen from Frederick Municipal Airport early yesterday morning. The single-engine aircraft crashed as its thief tried to take off.

51-year-old Calvin Cox was arrested near the scene in the nearby woods after officers arrived. He was discovered by dog handlers. The Piper Super Cub came off the runway and ran onto grass, sustaining damage to its fuselage and propeller as well as possibly its engine. The crash occured at 2:15 a.m.

Cox has been charged with felony theft, burglary, and trespassing. The plane was removed from an airport hangar and belonged to the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Association, who uses it to tow gliders. Michael H. Higgins, the association’s president, said it would be difficult for someone unfamiliar with the aircraft to start it, as several buttons and switches are required. He described the incident as “a very unusual situation.”

Police described Cox as familiar with aircraft. They say that while they have yet to determine any motive, they believe Cox’s “intention was to leave the Frederick area.” Nobody was injured in the crash.

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