Airport car heist is short-lived

Published on Thu, May 2, 2002 by Meg Olson

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Airport car heist is short-lived

By Meg Olson

Two juvenile car thieves were arrested as they tried to take the stolen vehicles back.

“One of our officers observed a couple of suspicious cars by the airport,” said police captain Mike Haslip. “He had seen them a few hours beforehand and they seemed lost.”

Officer Jay Punches first spotted the 1998 Ford Expedition and 2000 Corvette near 1 a.m. April 28 while he had another vehicle stopped for a traffic violation. He tried, and failed, to find them afterwards but they found him. Punches saw the two cars entering the airport around 4:30 a.m. through a restricted access gate and approached the two young drivers.

“Both were Canadian residents, teenage males, neither was licensed to drive, and neither could name the registered owner of the vehicle they were in,” Haslip said. Punches detained the drivers and investigated further. He found that both cars had been stolen from an airport hanger earlier that evening. “They had been joyriding,” Haslip said.

The owner of the vehicles had been storing them in the hangar while out of town. “He was unaware a crime had occurred but was delighted with their recovery,” Haslip said.

Both drivers were booked into Whatcom County jail on burglary, car theft, trespassing and driving without a license. Haslip said police were already acquainted with the pair. “Back in January the same two youth were arrested for a dine and dash at a local restaurant,” he said. “It was police dog Yoshi’s first track. They ran down a side street and he followed them right to the door of a house. They have friends here.”.
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