Cessna
A Cessna 172 Skyhawk, like the one Steven Lynn spotted the burglars from. Image: Josh Beasley/Flickr/CC BY

An Arkansas man caught two burglars red-handed trying to rob his home. He spotted them from above while taking a recreational flight in a small airplane.

A simple fishing trip

Steven Lynn of Craighead County, Ark., and two buddies had been planning a fishing trip on the Mississippi River about 60 miles away. However, they were unsure as to whether the river would be high enough to warrant the venture. One of the friends, David Hudson, a licensed pilot, suggested they borrow his friend’s Cessna 172 Skyhawk and take a short flight to check out the river conditions.

Asked to see his home from the sky

One the flight home, Lynn requested that Hudson fly over his home, just to see what it looked like from the air. But he was surprised at what he saw when looking down.

“I looked down, and sure enough, there was a truck hooked onto a trailer, and guys were loading stuff up,” Lynn told the Jonesboro Sun.

“He started freaking out, like anybody would,” Hudson added.

Would-be burglars confronted

Lynn used his cell phone to call his uncle, who lives nearby. As the fishermen observed from the air, the uncle arrived and confronted the men. They jumped into their truck and fled the scene.

Aerial pursuit

Hudson easily followed the truck’s progress from the dust cloud it kicked up on the country roads. “The dirt was just going everywhere,” he later told reporters.

Lynn called the authorities and gave them turn-by-turn directions of the fleeing would-be-burglars. Two state troopers and four county police finally stopped the truck about six miles from the Jonesboro airport.

Suspects still in patrol car

Hudson landed the plane and the three men rushed to the scene. “They still had them there in the back of the cop car,” he said.

The two men in the back of the patrol car, Roosevelt Smith III and Joseph Peel, were charged with burglary and theft. Most of the items taken were recovered except for a rifle worth $12,000, according to Lynn

Sources

AOPA: http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/articles/2011/110901aerial-chase-nabs-arkansas-burglary-suspects.html
ALLMEDIANY: http://www.allmediany.com/details_news_article.php?news_artid=1700
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/31/steven-lynn-house-burglarized-air_n_943934.html

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