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Watsonville police believe missing man stole plane, crashed

Watsonville Police believe missing...

WATSONVILLE, Calif. - UPDATE 7/11/2019 5:35 p.m. Watsonville police released new details about a plane stolen from the Watsonville Airport they now say is linked to a missing person case.

Officers said they believe 64-year-old Hugo Mar of Watsonville took the plane the night on June 26. The owner of the plane reported it stolen the following afternoon.

"This is a bizarre case. We have officers here working for decades and they’ve never investigated a stolen plane out of the Watsonville airport,” said Michelle Pulido with the Watsonville Police Department.

The FAA and the FBI were notified. The FAA's investigation showed that the plane crashed a few miles off the coast of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and they said there were no survivors. Police emphasize that that information is from the FAA's preliminary investigation.

Watsonville police said there's a list of reasons they suspect Mar stole the plane. "He was an active member of a flying club based out of the Watsonville airport, however he did not have authorization to fly the plane. The day the plane was stolen, Mar attempted to reserve the airplane, but the flying club denied that reservation."

Detectives also found Mar's car abandoned at the airport and his family reported him missing July 1st.

The Coast Guard searched the area, but could not find evidence of the crash. Officials could not confirm if Mar was the only one on the plane.

Police said they do not have surveillance video of Mar getting into the plane and taking of, but they do have video from June 26 that shows the plane taxiing to the runway after 8:30 p.m.

Airport Director, Rayvon Williams said while it's concerning this happened, security is not an issue at the airport. "This individual was authorized, he had access to the flying club, the flying club has its own security that will allow him to get into the club and has further security that allows him to get to the aircraft. So in the sense of is the airport secure, it's not a just anyone can, no anyone can't."

If you have any information, you are asked to call Detective Trevor Ihlen at 831-768-3321.

PREVIOUS STORY: Watsonville police released new details about a plane stolen from the Watsonville Airport and linked to a missing person case.

Officers said 64-year-old Hugo Mar of Watsonville took the plane the night on June 26. The owner of the plane reported it stolen the following afternoon.

The FAA and the FBI were notified. The FAA's investigation showed that the plane crashed a few miles off the coast of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and they said there were no survivors. Police emphasize that that information is from the FAA's preliminary investigation. The Coast Guard searched the area, but could not find evidence of the crash.

Watsonville police list the reasons they suspect Mar stole the plane:

  • Mar is a member of a local flying club based at the Watsonville Airport. The plane had been leased to the flying club, but Mar was not authorized to take it.
  • Mar had tried to reserve the plane, but the flying club denied his request the day it was stolen.
  • Detectives found Mar's car at the airport. Family and friends also say they have not seen or heard from him since.
  • Mar's family reported him missing on July 1.

Police said they do not have surveillance video of Mar getting into the plane and taking of, but they do have video from June 26 that shows the plane taxiing to the runway after 8:30 p.m.

If you have any information, you are asked to call Detective Trevor Ihlen at 831-768-3321.

 

PREVIOUS STORY: Watsonville Police say there is an update to that plane stolen from the Watsonville Municipal Airport.

They say the theft has been linked to a missing person's case. The Cessna was stolen in late June.

More information is expected at a press conference Thursday at 11:45 a.m. Check back here for updates.


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