Five Seized Cessnas Stolen In Mexico

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A gang of about 20 men, heavily armed, have stolen five Cessna 206 aircraft from an unpaved airfield in the town of Navolato in Mexico, in the Pacific Coast state of Sinaloa. The gunmen tied up a guard who was on the site to watch the airplanes, according to a statement released on Tuesday from the Attorney General's office of Mexico. The light aircraft had been seized by the Army because they were used to deliver seeds and fertilizer for illegal crops of marijuana in the "Golden Triangle" area, according to authorities. Staff at airports around the country have been notified to watch out for the airplanes. The army, which is battling drug cartels across the country, has confiscated 245 small planes and helicopters since November 2007, according to Reuters.

The Aircraft Crime Prevention Institute issued an alert earlier this year to U.S. pilots who operate in the border region, noting that the crackdown by authorities in Mexico was increasing the incidence of airplane theft.