Keith Jones

Private Jet Burglarized at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport

Thieves broke into a private jet at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport last week, getting away with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

The plane's owners said the thieves left their jet useless, after grabbing equipment needed to fly.

The crooks were able to spend 30-40 minutes ripping out a panel on the jet, which was parked outside a World Jet hangar at the airport, then took all the expensive avionics and $350,000 worth of equipment out of the cockpit.

"It's very, very scary that someone is able to gain access to such a dangerous piece of equipment so easily," said James Blackburn, plane owner.

Blackburn and Daniel Maderoo's 14-seat, twin-jet Gulfstream at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport is just a taste of the lap of luxury. But their toy is grounded for the foreseeable future.

Screens, radars, T-cast systems and navigation were plucked from the cockpit. The crook knew what he was doing and knew what he was after.

"Good 30-40 minutes to take everything out, that's for sure," said Daniel Madero, plane owner. "Anybody can give a tail number and come on in. It's just security here and whether they check credentials or not. It's just not happening."

Security was certainly present at the airport when the media showed up for this story. After an hour, they tried to kick us out.

There are still a lot of things at play for the owners: The plane was under contract. They were supposed to close the deal to sell it Wednesday. Now, they have to replace all those avionics before they can do so. Also, they have major issues with the security. Someone was easily able to walk in and now they are considering a lawsuit.

NBC 6 reached out to the property owner, who declined to comment.

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