A restored 1940s single-propeller airplane has been stolen from a parking lot in Torrance, California. The aircraft was stored in a custom-built Airstream trailer surveillance footage shows the thieves just hitched up to their pickup truck and pulled away into the night.
According to the owner of the vintage airplane, which is a Piper PA-15/17, those thieves broke a padlock just to get into the secured parking lot. He seemed pretty disgusted at the brazen crime. Considering how we’ve seen the wave of cars and even boats being stolen in California, we’re sadly not. But most people seem to not understand just how bad things have become.
That owner, Anis Pradhan, told KTLA5 that he was using the airplane to train young aspiring pilots from Nepal, which is where he’s originally from. Working with a nonprofit called National Innovation Center, he planned to transport the plane there and start up free lessons.
Thieves don’t care if their stealing from you puts you on the streets, literally. It’s a sad and harsh reality, which is why we don’t have a lot of sympathy when thieves meet the consequences of their actions. This is also why we recommend whatever valuables you have, be they cars, motorcycles, ATVs, airplanes, boats, etc. be secured extra tightly these days.
The 1940s single-prop Piper is reportedly 22 feet long, 35 feet wide, and weighs over 1,000 lbs. The wings fold up, allowing it to be more easily transported in the custom trailer. That made the theft a little easier. We’ve seen other airplane heists but they’re usually pulled off by a trained pilot and aren’t so quick or smooth.
Sadly, a day after the KTLA5 report ran, authorities found the charred remains of the stolen airplane. So there you go, if the thieves think they can’t unload it and the heat is on them, they’ll just destroy your property they took.
Image via KTLA5