LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – FOX5 is getting answers on airport security concerns after North Las Vegas police said a thief burglarized several planes and flew off to California in a stolen aircraft.

FOX5 brought you exclusive photos and details of the bizarre plane heist: a suspect from Idaho, already wanted by authorities for a felony probation violation, allegedly stole a plane and landed it in a field outside Barstow. The owner found beer bottles, cans and part of a joint inside.

An image from the cockpit of a plane stolen in North Las Vegas(FOX5)

Several pilots tell FOX5 anonymously that they’re taking precautions to protect their property, from moving closer to surveillance cameras or lights. Planes without hangars must be properly tied down outside. Some pilots are using heavier chains to boost security.

“I do think the threat is gone now. It’s a good time to assess what needs to happen for security,” long-time pilot and aviation attorney Jeff Lustick tells FOX5. He hopes for a meeting with pilots and airport officials to discuss measures like more surveillance, security officers or fencing.

“We’re all working together to have increased vigilance,” he said.

Flight instructor Will Bradley tells FOX5 that smaller airports have needed more security for years, and hopes the TSA or local law enforcement can add more of a presence.

“Let this be a wake-up call for all other airports that aircraft are easier to steal than people think,” Bradley said.

“Nothing deters crime like seeing a uniformed officer. They need to step up patrols,” he said.

A spokesperson from the airport released the following statements:

“We are working closely with the North Las Vegas Police Department during this investigation to identify more details.

The safety and security of our tenants, pilots and passengers is always a top priority and we consistently review procedures and practices. We work closely with the North Las Vegas Police Department who provide law enforcement at the airport. Additionally, we have a contracted private security company that patrols after hours.

Airport officials have regularly scheduled meetings with tenants, where all airport matters are discussed.

Pilots and tenants are strongly encouraged to take the necessary safety precautions to secure their property, including locking and properly tying down aircraft; and/or properly locking hangars. We ask that all suspicious activities are reported to law enforcement and the airport control center, immediately.”


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