SPRING – A series of heists from hangars at a private airport in Spring have pilots on alert for robbers and concerned about the level of security in place to protect their equipment.
Scott Koelbel said he discovered he had been robbed after returning from an out-of-town trip in early October
“Things were moved around, and that’s when I realized I was robbed,” Koelbel said.
Koelbel, who filed a report with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 7, leases hangar space at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in Spring. HCSO confirmed Tuesday it was investigating four burglaries at the facility since September.
David Bond said his hangar was burglarized, too. KPRC 2 spoke with Bond earlier this month about losses, which included a UTV and a trailer, stolen from his hangar at Hooks Airport.
“Within seven minutes, they were gone,” Bond said, referring to video surveillance from his hangar that recorded two men stealing from the space.
KPRC 2 spoke to Bond by phone Tuesday. He said no arrests have been made in his case. The same goes for Koelbel, who didn’t have a surveillance camera installed in his unit, and the two other cases HCSO continues to investigate.
Koelbel estimated the damage and thefts amount to a $20,000 loss. He said many of his aviation specialty tools, a four-wheeler, and other items were stolen. He said whoever broke in also moved his plane, causing thousands of dollars of damage to it.
“Both pushes to talks switch wire is out,” he said, showing the damage done to his plane’s interior and exterior.
“The tail wheel on the airplane had been pushed over and the left aileron on the back of the left-wing had been smashed into that pipe of the hangar,” he said.
Both Koelbel and Bond believe whoever is responsible had knowledge about planes, as well as, the layout of Hooks Airport. They said the intruders had easy access to Hooks Airport’s property. While there is a security gate at the entrance, there isn’t a barrier obstructing access to the airport along Stuebner Airline Road.
“There’s no fence at the end of the taxiway,” Koelbel said.
It was unclear if any of the burglaries were related. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday it continues to investigate each incident.