Beverly White, David Gregory, Edwin Calderon
A Learjet was spray painted with graffiti at the Van Nuys Airport. Authorities are investigating how vandals entered the secure area, and left seemingly without a trace. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 12, 2013.
Police are searching for an elusive tagger who left behind little evidence when she or he vandalized a private jet at Van Nuys Airport.
Someone scrawled the word “Flame,” flanked on either side by inward-facing arrows, across the Learjet parked at Maguire Aviation in the 7100 block of Valjean Avenue in Van Nuys.
A line server with Maguire Aviation, a private company that leases aircraft, first noticed the graffiti.
The worker told police he was near the jet about 2 a.m. and did not notice anything unusual, according to the police report. He left the private airfield but when he returned about 25 minutes later, he saw black spray paint on the body and tail of the $2.3-million aircraft.
When police arrived, the paint was still wet.
Investigators are short on leads as to who caused the estimated $100,000 in damage to the aircraft.
The jet was parked out of view from security cameras, and the police report notes that no “prints or other evidence” were found at the scene.
The tagging happened between 2 and 2:25 a.m. on July 7. Police believe it is gang-related.
A spokeswoman for the Van Nuys Airport released this statement to NBC4 Friday night:
"Los Angeles World Airports takes very seriously any and all issues of airport security in order to provide a safe and secure environment for our Van Nuys Airport tenants. An aircraft positioned on a privately leased ramp near the Sherman Way tunnel was vandalized. We are working with the affected tenant to prevent future incidents in this location, and we continue with our standing practice of reminding all tenants on the field about the importance of security.
"This particular investigation is ongoing, and Los Angeles World Airports Police is working in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
Article Posted: July 13, 2013