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Dumb Thieves or Just Dumb Luck?

August 30, 2011 — There are some dumb thieves who are caught because they leave their driver’s licenses or cell phones at the scene. But two burglars just ran into sheer dumb luck.

Steven Lynn, of Craighead, Arkansas, was out flying with friends Friday when he asked pilot David Hudson to fly over his house. But as they flew over, Lynn saw two men taking his belongings out of his house and loading them onto a truck.

Television station KAIT reports that Lynn called his uncle from the airplane while Hudson circled, and when the uncle arrived, the burglars threw some of the items off the truck and took off.

But they couldn't outrun the airplane. Deputy Sheriff Phillip Wheaton told KAIT that the "eye in the sky" gave his officers turn-by-turn directions as they tracked the truck. Roosevelt Smith III and Joseph Peel, both of Jonesboro, were eventually stopped and arrested for burglary and theft of property as Lynn and his friends watched from the sky.

“When we saw the cops pull up, it was just pure excitement,” Lynn told KAIT. However, he acknowledged that the chances of him being in the right place at the right time were slim, especially since it was his first time in an airplane.

Lynn also said he might be a little nervous the next time he goes flying with his friend —until he flies over his house and sees that no one is there.


Friends up for a ride in this 1957 Cessna 172 were surprised when they flew over one of their houses to see burglars removing items from the home. Photo credit: KAIT

Steven Lynn, of Craighead, Arkansas, will never forget his first airplane flight. Photo credit: KAIT

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