Saturday, June 24, 2017

Man Steals Van and Then Attempts To Enter Plane: Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (KLAL)

 
Gregory A. Hock, 37, of Lakeland is charged with two counts of grand theft, one count of trespassing, one count of burglary and resisting arrest. (Photo: Lakeland Police Department)


LAKELAND — On the run, a suspect did his best to fly away. 

 He tried to get into a plane that was about to take off, the Lakeland Police Department reported.

Before all that, Lakeland police said Gregory Hoch, 37, stole a van on Harden Boulevard and drove 5 miles to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport on the run from a man who may have seen him enter the van near Lakeside Village.

In the end, Hoch, of 619 Charles St., was charged with two counts of grand theft, one count of trespassing, one count of burglary to an occupied conveyance (airplane), and resisting arrest without violence, Lakeland police reported.

After his arrest, police said Hoch told Lakeland police Lt. Eric Harper that he wanted to make the pilot fly him somewhere.

“I was just trying to get away from you,” Harper said Hoch told him.

The incident started about 2 p.m. Thursday while surveyor Allen Stokes Jr., 32, of Orlando, was working at 3304 Harden Blvd., at Lakeside Village, for National Data and Surveying Services.

Stokes had stepped out of his 2008 Dodge van and was removing tools from the rear of the vehicle when he saw a man riding by on his bicycle. Seconds later, the man was driving away, police reported.

A witness, Gregory Mulvihill, 58, of Clearwater saw Hoch get into the van and suspected it had been stolen. He called police and began to follow the van.

At one point, Hoch hit a curb and blew a tire, but continued down the road for 5 miles to Lakeland Linder.

Harper, who was nearby in a cruiser, met Mulvihill near the airport. Mulvihill pointed to Hoch, who at this point had run through a business, Double M Aviation, and entered the airfield, police reported.

Harper pursued Hoch onto the runway and ordered him to stop several times as he ran around a number of planes.

Hoch then jumped onto the wing of a 1978 Piper PA-28R Arrow that was running in preparation to taxing down the runway. He started pulling on the door of the plane.

Harper chased Hoch onto the wing of the plane, pulled him off just as he began to enter through the passenger door, and the two fell back — first onto the wing, then the ramp.

Police said Hoch was taken into custody, then driven to the LPD.

The pilot, Rodrigo Cabal, of Winter Garden, was not injured.

When police arrested Hoch he had $384. Hoch told officers that he had taken the money from the Dodge van.


On June 22, 2017 at 2:02 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a motor vehicle theft that had just occurred at 3304 Harden Blvd.

The victim, Allen Stokes, Jr. of Orlando was working at the location as a surveyor for National Data and Surveying Services. Stokes had stepped out of his 2008 Dodge van and was removing tools from the rear of the van. He observed the suspect, Gregory A. Hoch, 37 years old, riding by on a bicycle. The next thing the victim knew, Hoch was in the driver’s seat driving off in the van.

A nearby witness, Gregory Mulvihill, saw the incident unfold and followed the stolen van. At one point, Hoch hit a curb and blew a tire, but continued for approximately 5 miles to the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

Lieutenant Eric Harper, who was nearby in a marked patrol car, responded to the area and made contact with Mulvihill. At this time, Mulvihill pointed out Hoch who had run through a business, Double M Aviation, and entered the airfield owned by the City of Lakeland. After gaining access to the ramp, Lt. Harper ordered Hoch to stop running several times as he ran around several planes. Hoch then jumped onto the wing of a taxing 1978 Piper PA-28R Arrow that was running and preparing to taxi down the ramp. Hoch started pulling on the planes door to gain entry. Lt. Harper, pursued Hoch onto the wing of the airplane and pulled Hoch from out of the airplane just as he had gained entry. Hoch and Lt. Harper fell back on the wing and then the ramp. Hoch resisted arrest and was eventually taken into custody and transported to the Lakeland Police Department.

No injures were sustained during the incident.

Hoch made a spontaneous statement saying that he was going to make the pilot take him somewhere. Hoch was also in possession of $384.00 in property that he removed from the stolen Dodge van when he was arrested.

Hoch was charged with:

2 counts of Grand Theft
1 count of Trespassing
1 count of Burglary to an Occupied Conveyance (Airplane)
Resisting Arrest without Violence.

http://www.theledger.com

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