Man accused of trying to steal $2.5M plane from Ocala International Airport

An Ocala man is behind bars after police say he tried to steal a $2.5 million plane from Ocala International Airport.

A member of Landmark Aviation's ground crew contacted Ocala Police after he found a man in a hanger Thursday night. Police said the man told the crew member he needed to go to Chicago.

Police said 23-year-old Juan Pablo Ceron claimed he owned the Pilatus PC 12 plane, valued at $2.5 million, and was preparing it for a trip to Chicago.

The crew member told police Ceron didn't show any ID and it looked like the airplane had been tampered with.

Ceron at first gave a fake name to officers, who said he is not the registered owner, has no connection with the company that is and has no claim to the plane.

Police said between $200 and $300 worth of damage had been done to the plane. Oxygen masks had been pulled down, life vests inflated and tube covers and propeller ties removed.

The safety blocks had been removed from the wheels and police said it looked like Ceron was trying to start it up.

Ceron refused to speak to officers and was arrested on two counts of burglary, attempted grand theft, giving a false name to law enforcement and criminal mischief.

Police notified federal agents because it is an international airport.

Ceron is being held on $51,000 bond at the Marion County Jail.  

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