Man arrested for trailer theft after owner sees theft from his plane

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CHARLOTTE COUNTY - A Virginia man was arrested on Interstate 75 by Charlotte County deputies Sunday and charged with grand theft.  Deputies say the victim witnessed the theft as he flew over his house.

59-year-old Gary Haines of Stafford, Virginia was stopped by Lee County deputies near mile marker 153 of I-75, about 5 miles south of the Tucker's Grade exit, after being alerted by Glades County deputies of the theft of a trailer from a home near LaBelle.

According to deputies, David Zehntner was flying his personal airplane back to his North Carolina home when he decided to fly over his Glades County home north of LaBelle.  As he flew over the home, he spotted a man looking in the home's windows, then attaching a 6x12 trailer to his truck and driving off.

Zehntner followed the vehicle as it traveled along S.R. 80 towards I-75, then contacted the GCSO, who then alerted Lee County Sheriff's Office.

A LCSO aviation unit spotted the truck heading north on I-75 and directed ground units to its location before stopping the truck, driven by Haines, in Charlotte County.

Haines was arrested for Grand Theft and taken to the Charlotte County Jail.  He was released Monday morning on $2,500 bond.

CCSO seized the pickup for forfeiture. Glades County Sheriff’s Office detectives continue their investigation into the theft and weapons found in the Haines pickup.