Pilot of crashed plane arrested for attempted auto burglary

Christopher Ryan Loepke (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Christopher Ryan Loepke (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The pilot being sued over a small plane crash in Ocean Springs now has new legal troubles.

Christopher Ryan Loepke, 29, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with Attempted Commercial Burglary of an Automobile.

Jackson County Sheriff's deputies were called to a burglary in progress at Lexington Apartments on Tucker Road in Ocean Springs. Witnesses said someone was walking from vehicle to vehicle checking door handles and entering unlocked vehicles. When investigators arrived, they saw Loepke trying to run away.

Loepke is currently out on felony bond. In that case, he's accused stealing money from the safe of a Kangaroo Gas Station.

Earlier this month, Ocean Springs businessman Scott Walker and two others filed a lawsuit against Loepke and his employer at the time, Apollo Aviation.

The lawsuit says Loepke was grossly negligent because he told the occupants the plane was not overloaded, was airworthy, and the runway was long enough. Those are all things the lawsuit says the occupants had concerns about.

They also claim they never saw Loepke do any type of a pre-flight check, and they maintain the seatbelts in the back did not work. The lawsuit alleges that Loepke ignored their comments.

Right now, Christopher Ryan Loepke is being held at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center pending an initial appearance in County Court.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.