A Florida man has been arrested after he was accused of stealing a small plane Thursday, ditching it on a beach near Half Moon Bay and walking away, authorities say.
A witness told authorities that the pilot left after landing the small plane at Poplar Beach at about 5 p.m., the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said.
The plane remained in the area Thursday night while crews worked on how to remove it from the area.
Video shot by NBC Bay Area’s SkyRanger showed the small plane with its nose in the sand.
A Florida man is arrested after he was accused of stealing a small plane Thursday, ditching it on a beach near Half Moon Bay and walking away, authorities say. Jocelyn Moran reports.
Ryan Gross told NBC Bay Area Thursday night that she was walking on the beach with her dad and dog, when she noticed a plane flying low.
“Then, it went that way towards Mavericks. And then, it came went back around and down to the beach and it was flying real low. It landed, sort of and the tail started to nose and plunged to the sand,” she said. “He hopped out. He said he ran out of gas and walked off.”
The man was later taken into custody by deputies. Authorities identified the suspect as 50-year-old Luiz Gustavo Aires of Miami, Florida.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the small plane was reported stolen from the Palo Alto Airport.
“At this time, I do not know if he was a pilot or who this person is. But he managed to steal an airplane and landed on a Half Moon Bay beach,” said Sgt. Javier Acosta with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
Aires was booked into the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City for airplane theft.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office added that they are working with the Palo Alto Police Department with the investigation.
No injuries were reported.
Bay City News contributed to the report.