Police: Man broke into Cape hangar, pretended to be pilot, night watchman

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Dexter, Mo., man faces arraignment Tuesday in Scott County after a series of burglaries and thefts Thanksgiving weekend that included time spent pretending to fly a plane at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport.

Carlos Pedro Kunz, 20, is being held in Scott County Jail.

According to a Cape Girardeau police report, Kunz spent most of the night of Nov. 28 in and around two hangars at the airport before stealing a sport utility vehicle from NAB Automation Inc. on Nash Road and driving to Bollinger County, according to the police report. Cape Girardeau police recovered a Dodge Magnum in a ditch near the airport; it had been reported stolen by Sherman Smith of Dexter, Mo.

Kunz was arrested by Missouri State Highway Patrol officers in Bollinger County just after noon Nov. 29.

He later told police, according to a Cape Girardeau police report, that he'd gone to the airport after a fight with his girlfriend the day before. The report said Kunz hoped to fly to St. Louis to see his mother. According to the police report, Kunz had entered several planes and in at least one, he had turned on the lights and pretended to be a pilot. He told police he had not "flown a plane before but had flown in a flight simulator."

At another point, he walked the airport grounds with a flashlight and carried a stolen 12-gauge shotgun, "pretending that he was a night watchman."

Paul Fisher of Jackson, who owns a 1952 Piper Super Cab, called police at 10 a.m. Nov. 29 -- shortly after Kunz told police he left the airport grounds -- after discovering his plane was so damaged it would not start.

At least two other planes were reported damaged.

Robert Rollins, chairman of the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport Advisory board. said since the break-in, which he said is the first in his 25-year association with the airport, security measures have been increased and more are planned. He said the man was never able to gain access to crucial airport buildings, such as the control tower.

He said the airport board has recently talked about improving security and will now consider tighter measures.

"We're really fortunate we haven't had any problems before this," he said.

The airport board is planning to meet later this month, but the date has not been set.

Cape Girardeau police held Kunz through the weekend until he could be transferred to Scott County Jail. Though the airport is within the city limits of Cape Girardeau, it is also in Scott County, and the case will likely be prosecuted there. Scott County prosecutor Paul Boyd was unavailable for comment,

Kunz has been charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, tampering with a motor vehicle, two counts of tampering with an airplane and stealing. His arraignment is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.



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