California Teenager Steals, Crashes Private Plane

Luxury business jet with open door ready for passenger boarding
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An unidentified 17-year-old girl scaled a Yosemite Fresno International Airport fence to steal — and then immediately crash — a private jet on Wednesday morning.

Dressed for the holidays in red flannel pajama pants and a dark colored parka, the presently unnamed teenager rushed to a privately-owned King Air 200 jet. Within minutes of getting it moving, she ran it into Signature TECHNICAir Aircraft Maintenance building.

“The aircraft then began to move and pivot and crashed into a building and a fence on airport property,” airport officials said in a statement. “The aircraft never became airborne, and there was no fire. The aircraft sustained substantial damage. No injuries occurred in this incident.”

Law enforcement officers boarded the aircraft to find the “disoriented” young woman sitting in the pilot’s seat and wearing a headset. After resisting arrest, she was taken to a juvenile detention center, charged with theft of an aircraft. Authorities do not believe, however, that domestic terror motivated the incident.

Yosemite Fresno Airport Police Chief Drew Bessinger said his investigators, working in cooperation with the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration, are still trying to confirm how she was able to start the aircraft in the first place.

The teenager’s mother has denied any knowledge or involvement, claiming that she last spoke to her daughter on Tuesday night, but had not heard from her since that time.

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