17-year-old steals plane, crashes it into building at California airport

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A 17-year-old stole a plane at Fresno Yosemite International Airport and crashed it into a nearby building on Wednesday, airport officials said.

It happened near Shields and Winery avenues at the Signature TECHNICAir Aircraft Maintenance building.

Around 7:30 a.m., a 17-year-old breached the fence of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport and entered a King Air 200 propeller driven aircraft and was able to start one engine, airport officials reported.

The incident occurred in the General Aviation area of the airport.

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

No passengers or commercial airlines were ever at risk in this incident, airport officials said.

Airport and Fresno police officers responded to a 911 call of the aircraft theft and crash.

Fresno officers arrived first and contacted the teen, who was seated in the pilot’s seat and wearing the pilot headset. She appeared to be disoriented and was uncooperative when she was taken into custody for theft of an aircraft, .

The teen will be booked at juvenile hall later Wednesday.

Family members showed up to the scene and said they were contacted by law enforcement, who said their 17-year-old daughter had taken the plane.

The motive is still under investigation but there is no indication of any ties to domestic terrorism.

No other information was immediately available.

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