22-Year Old Man Charged With Theft, Reckless Conduct
A 22-year old Georgia man was arrested Wednesday, accused of
stealing a Cessna Citation and taking it from St. Augustine, FL, to
Gwinnett County Airport/Briscoe Field. Police described the
incident as a "joy-ride."
Daniel Andrew Wolcott was jailed on $175,000 bond and faces
federal charges in addition to the six state charges filed by
police in Georgia on Wednesday.
"Investigators made contact with five individuals who came
forward and gave statements of being on the plane when Wolcott flew
it," Gwinnett County Police spokesman Darren Moloney told the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "They were just enjoying the ride,"
he said. None of the passengers were charged along with
Wolcott, a commercial pilot, wasn't rated to fly the $7 million
Citation VII, Moloney said. "But apparently is a talented and
gifted pilot." The young pilot was a frequent visitor to Briscoe
Field, he said, occasionally working odd jobs there.
The aircraft apparently landed after
the Gwinnett County field closed for the night on Sunday, he said.
The six men on board appeared to have walked off the plane and away
from the airport without being noticed. The Citation was finally
spotted Monday morning by an airport employee.
"This is such an odd occurrence, I wouldn't even want to
speculate why someone would do this," airport manager Matt Smith
told the Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.
"I would just encourage increased vigilance at the various
airports and the companies that have these aircraft to ensure
better security," FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett told the Atlanta
paper. "I don't think it requires any systems changes or
The Citation VII has a lock on the door, but Moloney said it
wouldn't have been very difficult to defeat it if someone really
wanted to get inside.
The owners of the aircraft, Pinnacle Aviation of St. Augustine,
wouldn't comment on the theft, but were reportedly cooperating
closely with police.