Suspect steals vehicle from military base and drives onto airport runway
An investigation is underway into how the suspect stole a vehicle from a military base and then took it onto an airport runway.
Updated: Thu Sep. 02 2010 18:42:07
A suspect is in custody after a vehicle was stolen from a military base and then driven onto a runway at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, said police.
Officers said that around 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday, a military pickup truck from the 17 Wing Canadian Forces Base in Winnipeg was stolen.
The suspect then drove the vehicle onto an active runway, following behind an aircraft carrying cargo and three passengers that was taking off.
The plane managed to take off without incident and the suspect was stopped by airport security patrol members.
The Winnipeg Police Service’s airport members assisted security staff and the suspect was taken into custody.
Shortly before the incident, another plane carrying more than 100 passengers had used the same runway for take-off.
Officials are trying to determine how the suspect got past security at the military base and how he made his way through the base to the airport.
“We’re trying to determine exactly how the breach occurred but at this time it’s unclear as to actually how he did (gain) access,” said Const. Natalie Aitken, a spokesperson for Winnipeg police.
Officers expressed concern over the incident.
“Anytime there’s an unauthorized vehicle in this restricted area where flights are taking off and landing…it could be a potentially dangerous situation,” said Aitken.
One local security expert said the incident is a national concern.
“Terrorists look for cases like this (for) their attacks,” said Lasha Tchantouridze, a professor with University of Manitoba’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies.
Tchantouridze said incidents can show the weaknesses in certain areas.
A spokesperson for 17 Wing said the base has increased its security as a result of the incident.
Police have charged the suspect with multiple offenses.
Michael Doss, 23, of Montreal faces charges for theft over $5,000, damaging or interfering with a navigation facility and mischief endangering life, said police.
– with a report from CTV’s Laura Lowe
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