17-year-old girl stole plane, crashed it into California airport: Police

Alex Lasker
Trending Content and Social Media Fellow

A teenage girl was arrested after police say she stole a $2M private jet and crashed it into an airport building in California.

The 17-year-old, whose identity has not been released due to her age, apparently climbed over a barbed-wire fence at Fresno Yosemite International Airport around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and got in the pilot's seat of a multi-million dollar King Air 200 propeller plane, officials said during a press conference. 

She then allegedly started one of the plane's engines and briefly drove the aircraft down part of the tarmac before crashing into a building and fence in the general aviation area of the airport, which police say is located approximately a quarter of a mile away from commercial terminals.

Responding officers discovered the teen, who was disoriented but uninjured, sitting inside the craft wearing the pilot's headset and took her into custody. She was later booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of stealing an aircraft, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

GMA

The incident is currently under investigation, but police say they do not suspect domestic terrorism as a possible motive. It remains unclear how the teen, who reportedly does not know how to drive a car, was able to start the aircraft.

"We're not certain how she was able to accomplish those things," said Drew Bessinger, Fresno Yosemite International Airport police chief.

The suspect's mother told KFSN that before the incident, she had not seen or heard from her daughter since Tuesday night. 

The jet never became airborne but did sustain "substantial" damage in the crash.