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Airline stowaway suspect once arrested for not paying train fare

June 30, 2011 |  2:19 pm

 The Nigerian national arrested after allegedly sneaking aboard a New York-to-Los Angeles flight has a history of not paying for his transportation, court records show.

Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, 24, was arrested in Chicago in 2008 after he allegedly refused to pay a $4.70 fare on a Metra train, according to court records. Noibi got on the train in Lockport, Ill., and when asked several times by the conductor to pay for a ticket, he refused, according to a police report. He was taken into custody when the train reached Union Station in Chicago and was charged with misdemeanor theft. That charge was dropped about six months later.

Document: Chicago police report

The report lists Noibi as a University of Michigan student and his birthplace as Iowa. It indicates that he had an Illinois driver's license, a U.S. passport and a Social Security number.

Federal authorities told The Times they suspect that the incident involving the recent Virgin America flight to Los Angeles was not the first time Noibi has flown for free.

The FBI agent who took him into custody said in an affidavit that a search of Noibi's bag found at least 10 different boarding passes and that none were in his name. It was unclear whether those passes were with him when he was initially interviewed after he landed in Los Angeles.

Noibi acknowledged sneaking aboard the Virgin America flight in New York on June 24, officials said. The flight crew discovered Noibi midway through the flight, which landed in the early morning hours of June 25. He was questioned at that time, but was not taken into custody or arrested.

A few days later, on Tuesday, Noibi returned to LAX, where he was again able to get past security without a valid boarding pass, officials said. Authorities said he spent the night at the airport and when he tried to board a Delta flight to Atlanta, he was stopped at the gate when an airline employee told him he could not board the plane.


Suspect says he is a frequent traveler 'reaching the world for Jesus'

Stowaway had at least 10 boarding passes, none in his name, officials say

Virgin America acknowledges it may have "missed an alert" and let stowaway on board

-- Andrew L. Wang and Andrew Blankstein