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Man Steals Multiple Vehicles, But Is Thwarted By A Helicopter

Claimed He Was On A Reality TV Show When Challenged

A man who stole a pickup truck and an RV eventually crashed through an electric fence at Cape Girardeau (MO) Regional Airport and tried to steal a helicopter.

That's where his crime spree ended.

Television Station KFVS reports that the suspect is Charles Benedict Coker of Cape Girardeau. He has been charged with tampering first degree and stealing, and a bond was set at $100,000.

Just before 8:00 a.m. Monday, Coker allegedly tried to convince the driver of a Frito Lay truck at Walmart to give him a ride. When he was refused, he stole the pickup truck and tore down Interstate 55 at a high rate of speed. He took the airport exit, but apparently changed his mind and tried to get back onto the freeway, but wound up in a muddy field near an RV Center.

He stole an RV that had just been dropped off that still had the keys in it, and a tow vehicle attached. The owner was trying to get the tow vehicle disconnected from the RV when Coker jumped in and drove away, with the smaller vehicle still in tow.

He allegedly drove the RV through the fence, got out of the RV, and got into a helicopter at Cape Copter at the airport.

However, starting the helicopter proved to be too difficult for Coker. Witnesses said he then approached a group of people preparing to take off in an airplane. He said he was on a Reality TV show, that cameras were watching, and that he needed their car. He said everything would be paid for by the show. 

They refused the use if the car, so he go in and locked the doors. But it didn't take long before he started complaining that it was hot in the car, and he wanted to get out.

The manager of the RV center had followed Coker to the airport, and when the suspect got out of the car, the RV manager threw him to the ground and held him until police arrived.

Coker was arrested about a half hour after his spree began. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

KFVS reports that, according to Cape Girardeau Police Department Sergeant Rick Schmidt, Coker will face charges from the truck theft in the city, and also faces county charges for his activities at the airport. 

FMI: Original Report 

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