Police: Lakeland suspect steals van, tries to get into plane

A bizarre scene unfolded in Lakeland.

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Lakeland Police Department arrested a man for stealing a van and trying to get into a plane at a city airport.

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.

Hock was riding a bike before he stole a 2008 Dodge van from a surveyor, according to the Lakeland Police Department. A witness saw the incident unfold and followed the stolen van. Hoch hit a curb and blew a tire at one point, before driving another five miles to the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

By the time an officer arrived, Hoch ran through Double M Aviation and entered the airfield owned by the city of Lakeland.

The officer told Hoch to stop running on the airfield’s ramp before Hoch jumped onto the wing of a taxiing 1978 Piper PA-28R Arrow airplane.

Hoch then tried to gain entry by pulling on the plane’s door.

The officer pulled Hoch out of the airplane just as he gained entry, and arrested him.

Hoch said he was going to make the pilot of the plane take him somewhere, according to Lakeland police. He also had possession of $384 in property stolen from the Dodge van.

Police said no one was injured in the incident.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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