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Thu, Mar 02, 2006

C182 Stolen From Tucson-Area Airport

N3199F May Have Been Flown To Mexico

Police are searching for any information they can find regarding the apparent theft Tuesday of a 1966 Cessna 182J Skylane, N3199F, (file photo of type, below) from the Marana Regional Airport in Tucson, AZ.

The thief was able to gain access to a locked hangar at the airport, and stole the red-and-white airplane, Marana Police Department Sgt. Jose Alvarez told the Arizona Daily Star.

The FAA told Marana police a small aircraft was seen taking off from Marana around 5:50 am Tuesday morning. It was seen flying at low altitude toward nearby Ryan Airfield, 16 miles to the south, at which point it apparently crossed the border into Mexico near Nogales.

The owner reported the theft around 7:45 am, Alvarez said. The theft was reported to the FBI, as well as the Arizona Counter Terrorism Center.

"We took it as a threat because it was flown into Mexico," Alvarez said. As police don't know the motive for the theft, they didn’t rule out the possibility that the plane could be used as a weapon.

No other suspicious activity has been reported around the airport lately, Alvarez said. The airport is accessible via security gates, which are passable only with a security code.

The plane is valued at approximately $120,000.

FMI: www.marana.com/police.html, If you have any information on the theft, please call (520) 88-CRIME

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