Man Told Plane Stolen Two Years Ago

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Wednesday, a man walked into the local Sheriff's office to report that his aircraft, a 1955 Cessna 310, had been stolen from Turlock Airport (roughly 90 miles east of San Francisco), about two years ago. It seems the victim bought the plane on the east coast back in 2007, flew it across the country and parked it in his hangar. Details are sketchy, but the victim apparently left his plane unchecked until the FAA contacted him to let him know the aircraft had been sold in 2009, or was otherwise out of compliance. When the victim went to check on the aircraft, he discovered it was missing. Merced deputy Tom Mackenzie told local newspaper The Merced Sun Star that it appears the aircraft had been flown off the airport and that the criminal had then forged signatures on a bill of sale dated April 2009, before selling the aircraft to someone else.

The FAA is conducting an investigation and has placed the aircraft's identifying features, plus its serial number and registration number, into the national database for stolen property. Many aircraft are stolen each year from the U.S. and placed in service in South America for the purpose of running drugs, according to the FAA. The victim in this case estimated the value of his aircraft near $25,000.