HALF MOON BAY, CA – A man was apprehended by California law enforcement after allegedly stealing a small airplane, crash-landing it on a beach, and subsequently fleeing the scene. The incident was reported to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office around 5 p.m. on Thursday, with witnesses stating that a small aircraft had landed on or near a beach in Half Moon Bay.
Upon arrival, officers discovered the deserted plane, still intact, situated on the sandy area south of Poplar Beach. This location is approximately 30 miles south of San Francisco. A photograph shared on social media by the sheriff’s office depicted a plane with striped wings, nose buried in the sand, and tail elevated towards the sky.
The suspect was located after deputies found a man who matched the description of the individual seen disembarking from the plane and departing the scene. The man, a 50-year-old Miami resident, was subsequently charged with airplane theft and detained at the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City.
Investigations revealed that the airplane was likely stolen from a Palo Alto airport, a distance of about 24 miles from the crash site. The theft is currently under investigation by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with the Palo Alto Police Department.