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Man tries to steal small plane from Compton Airport

A Bellflower man was arrested Friday morning after authorities said he tried to steal a small plane from Compton Airport but was unsuccessful because the rear of the aircraft was chained to the ground.

Troy Daniel Long, 25, was arrested on suspicion of aircraft piracy, a federal crime, and is expected to be charged Monday, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. He is being held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles pending his bail hearing.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies received a call at 7:55 a.m. Friday that "a man with a gun was trying to steal a plane," said  Capt. Mike Parker.


When they arrived, deputies were told that Long, a former flight student, had taken the keys to a Cessna 152 two-seat, single-engine propeller plane. The suspect was inside the aircraft.

"They saw a man in a plane with the engine revving, the propeller spinning and the plane was lurching and bucking against a chain attached to the rear of the plane from the tarmac," Parker said. "Their guns pointed at the suspect, they tried to yell over the sound of the engine for the suspect to shut down the engine and waved their arms" for him to surrender.

"Eventually he shut off the plane, took off the headset and surrendered," Parker said.

The identity of the plane's owner was not immediately available.

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--Andrew Blankstein

 
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