Aircraft Burglaries Spike In Southeast

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If you live in Florida, keep an eye on your airplane ... according to the Aviation Crime Prevention Institute (ACPI), that state leads the nation by far in numbers of burglaries from aircraft in 2004. "All late-model Bendix/King and Garmin units are the preferred choice of thieves," says Robert Collins, president of ACPI. "GPS units have become very popular." 2004 is the first year since 1990 that aircraft burglaries have been higher than the previous year, Collins said. Theft activity in Florida and Georgia has spiked this year's statistics. "That spike kind of surprised us," Collins told AVweb yesterday, but he said it was not related to last year's hurricanes in that area. "There was no looting going on," he said. Across the U.S., 68 aircraft were burglarized, and 183 items were stolen, at a total estimated value of $550,000. Florida had 28 thefts, Georgia had 13, and California had 7. Most other states had only one or two. Also, 11 aircraft were stolen in 2004 --10 Cessna models and one Maule, including four 210s stolen in Mexico. The ACPI suggests that owners use anti-theft devices on parked aircraft.