Key West Man Arrested For Breaking Into Airport To Steal Beer

If Jimmy Buffett hasn't already written a sappy acoustic ballad about the foibles of Thomas Knight, it's probably only a matter of time. The 57-year-old Conch had such a strong hankering for another cold one, local police say, that he broke into the Key West Airport to steal a six pack from the terminal bar.

Which, come to think of it, raises a question or two about security at the Conch Republic's international airport.

An airport security worker named Sonja Fleita was on her early morning rounds around 5:45 a.m. last Friday when she noticed a figure walking through the empty terminal, says Becky Herrin, a spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

She went to investigate and found Knight, a deliveryman who lives on Stock Island, rooting around behind the First Call Beach Bar in the arrivals area.

Fleita watched Knight grab a six pack and walk away before confronting him. Though he claimed he was just looking for someone to pay for the beer, she arrested him and charged him with trespassing.

Knight was let off with a warning, but deputies reviewed security footage and saw Knight drinking a soda and taking beer out of a refrigerator. On Tuesday, he was arrested and charged with burglary and theft.

Get on it, Jimmy: The Conch so thirsty he broke into the airport to get a buzz.

Oh, and Homeland Security -- you may want to look into the setup at Key West International if you've got a second.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink