PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's deputies arrested a man Sunday afternoon for stealing a 6x12 foot trailer from a Glades County home near Labelle. The owner was flying his airplane over his home at the time, saw the theft from the air and called Glades County Sheriff’s Office 911. Authorities arrested 59-year-old Gary Robert Haines, of Stafford in Virginia.
Pilot David Zehntner was returning home from North Carolina in his personal airplane and decided to fly over his home in the 2400 block of Loblolly Bay Road. He observed a silver truck with white camper in his driveway and lowered his altitude to get a closer look. He saw a man looking into the windows of his home then attach his red trailer and pull out of his driveway. The pilot followed the thief down S.R. 80 towards I-75 in Lee County and called GCSO who in turn contacted the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
LCSO Aviation located the truck and trailer on I-75 heading into Charlotte County and gave directions to LCSO ground units. LCSO made a traffic stop on I-75 at mile marker 153 in Charlotte County. LCSO deputies detained the man driving a 2002 Toyota Tundra 4x4 pickup and pulling the red stolen trailer until CCSO deputies arrived and made the arrest of Haines. The owner went to the scene and obtained his trailer back. Haines’ pickup was impounded at the CCSO Crime Scene bay and obtained a search warrant. Inside the pickup detectives found a loaded rifle and bullets on the floorboard. Haines was arrested for Grand Theft and taken to the Charlotte County Jail; he was released this 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.