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Fri, Jan 05, 2024

Kitfox Joyrider Arrested After Landing

Kitfox Owner Called to Ask if He'd Crashed After Thief Biffs the Landing

An unlucky 2020 Kitfox (File Photo, Below) owner in Las Vegas got an unusual call when he was asked if he'd just crashed his fancy new plane outside a small airport - but he was in his living room.

As it happens, a repeat aircraft burglar or possibly even a joyrider just couldn't stick the landing with the shiny new Kitfox, setting the aircraft down outside Nevada's Barstow-Daggett airport. The culprit, 40-year-old Damian Zukaitis, had reportedly made off with aircraft a few times, sneaking them out of their home fields and taking them out for a ride. His last caper will probably be a coda for his adventures, now that he's been arrested. Police believe he'd burglarized 3 other aircraft in recent days, making multiple attempts to get a lucky entry.

The Kitfox was not found in great shape. The owner found marijuana doobs on the floor and a couple of cans of Modelo rolling around in the passenger seat. While some sources said that the aircraft was recovered with the POH opened to the "landing" section, the owner seems to convey something different in a direct interview - the thief was consulting a binder with directions on landing at an airport in Corona, California. That could open up some interesting avenues in the investigation, should they find that there's a little more to the aircraft theft industry than going up for a couple of free flight hours.

Zukaitis is facing charges of possession of a stolen aircraft and transporting it across state lines from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Office, with additional charges awaiting him in Nevada. He's got a warrant out for him in Ada County, Idaho, too. He's set to be extradited back to Las Vegas to face justice there.

FMI: www.sbcounty.gov

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