Keys Man Breaks Into Airport, Hides in Delta Plane in Bid to Escape Country

A man was found inside a plane at Key West International Airport.
A man was found inside a plane at Key West International Airport.
Photo by Eric Salard via Wikimedia Commons

Jamie Crabtree, a 32-year-old Key Largo native, just wanted to leave — the Keys, Florida, America, you name it.

So Wednesday night, according to a police report, Crabtree boarded a Greyhound bus headed for Key West. There, the five-foot-ten, hazel-eyed drifter made his way to Key West International Airport. He jumped a barbed-wire fence. In the dark, he spotted a small Delta plane sitting on the tarmac. 

Crabtree approached the plane. He figured out how to break the door seal and then climbed inside. He made his way to the cargo area. Exhausted, he fell asleep. 

Within a few hours, though, Crabtree's international travel dreams were squashed. Just after 6 a.m. Wednesday, Delta employees found the sleeping stowaway and notified police about "an intruder inside their aircraft."

"I asked Mr. Crabtree how he got into the restricted area," Key West Police Officer Maureen Smith wrote in her report. "He said he jumped the barbed wire fencing with no trespassing signs by the Fed Ex building and walked over to the Delta aircraft because he wanted to leave the country." 

Crabtree was escorted to jail. He was charged with one count of third-degree burglary, a felony, and one count of second-degree trespassing, a misdemeanor.

"He committed the offense... with the intent [of] stowing away on the Delta aircraft," the report says. "By doing so he was attempting to deprive the airline of the travel fare." 


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