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Published: Monday, 7/21/2003

Robbery attempt couldn't get off the ground

PUT-IN-BAY, Ohio - A 20-year old man was arrested yesterday after he tried to steal a single-engine plane but instead, he went just 40 feet - and crashed into two parked vehicles at the airport here, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

Aaron Anderson of Medina, Ohio, was being held in the Ottawa County jail last night. He is charged with receiving stolen property, operating an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless operation of an airplane, and operating an airplane without a pilot's license.

He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Ottawa County Municipal Court in Port Clinton.

Mr. Anderson is accused of boarding the aircraft, a 1966 Beechcraft Model 35-C33A, at 6:30 a.m. After finding the keys inside, he started the engine and began to taxi. The plane struck two vehicles that were parked at the airport, troopers said.

Mr. Anderson then fled on foot and was caught by the Put-in-Bay police. He refused to submit to a blood-alcohol level test.

The aircraft's nose, left wing, and front landing gear were damaged. It is being stored at the airport pending further investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. The two vehicles suffered minor to moderate damage.

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