Teen Pleads Guilty To Stealing Cessna 150 for Joyrides

Young man teaches himself to fly.

Thief River Falls Regional Airport

Thief River Falls Regional Airport

** Thief River Falls Regional Airport**

A Minnesota teenager with no formal flight training pleaded guilty on Monday to regularly stealing a Cessna 150 for joyrides over the summer and fall while the airplane's owner, an Air Force major, was deployed in Afghanistan.

Eighteen-year-old Geoffrey Biteman, from the aptly named city of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, reportedly taught himself to fly as he traversed northwestern Minnesota and northeastern North Dakota in the stolen Cessna. He was caught only after a worker at Thief River Falls Regional Airport noticed the teen filling the airplane's tanks with regular gasoline from jugs he brought with him.

Biteman was arrested on Oct. 22 after a police investigation. He pleaded guilty on Monday in Roseau County District Court to a felony charge of motor vehicle theft and a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized use of an aircraft. The plea agreement includes 60 days in jail, 60 days of home monitoring, a stayed prison sentence of 13 months, up to five years of probation and $1,000 in fines and fees, plus restitution. Sentencing is set for January 6.

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