FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Fort Lauderdale Police are investigating the theft of thousands of dollars worth of aviation gear from two private jets.
The jets belong to James Blackburn, the CEO of Premier Aviation Holdings. He said he believes they were broken into Thursday or Friday. The jets were parked on a ramp outside a World Jet hanger at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.
“We’ve lost the navigation; we’ve lost five tubes,” said Daniel Madero, the COO of Premier Aviation Holdings.
The burglars took radar equipment, navigation systems and landing gear, from one jet. “Without that equipment, we can’t put the bird in the air,” Madero said.
The second plane was robbed of a $25,000 piece of landing gear.
Those responsible for the burglary knew how to access and remove the equipment and get the job done. The owners of the jet were also preparing to sell one of the planes, but now that deal has been postponed. “They obviously did a pretty good job of sealing the lines and closing them,” Madero said. “They must have been a mechanic or something who did that.”
Blackburn said more than $350,000 worth of gear was stolen and is upset at the alleged lack of security at the airport. “It’s a real issue for me,” said Blackburn. “We pay monthly fees to keep the planes here. It’s on an airfield. We expect the planes to be secure … From a security point of view, it’s very worrying.”
7News only gave a tail number to access the airport. “Today’s day, we cannot allow people to walk onto an airfield and gain access to an airplane — it’s very, very dangerous,” Blackburn said.
Madero echoed Blackburn’s feelings. “Anybody can get access to this airport,” he said. “It’s very dangerous. Anyone can come in, and anybody can come into any of these aircrafts.”
According to the owner, police have lifted fingerprints from one jet after investigating the scene. Investigators also took away several bags of evidence.
If you have any information on the burglary, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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