A woman was arrested by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office officials when she trespassed onto an active airport taxiway on a stolen tricycle Wednesday, arrest records show.
First, she scaled a perimeter fence to enter U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater property. From there, she stole a tricycle belonging to the Coast Guard — riding to the ramp area behind Terminal A of the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, according to the report.
She rode past signage warning that trespassing on operational airport property is a felony, and straight onto an active taxiway, authorities said. Airport personnel noticed the woman biking on the taxiway via surveillance footage.
The woman ditched the tricycle behind an Allegiant aircraft before being confronted by an Allegiant Airlines employee, according to the report.
She faces felony charges of trespassing onto an operational area of an airport and grand theft, records show.
According to Erik Villa, spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard District 7, the woman was initially attempting to gain access to a Coast Guard aircraft. After riding the tricycle to the airport area, she attempted to board a commercial flight departing for Argentina before she was apprehended.
Tricycles, along with golf carts and Bobcats, are used by the Coast Guard to transport tools and parts around the station, Villa said.
The airport, located north of St. Petersburg, was initially constructed as a military flight-training base, according to its website. The 2000-acre airport houses the busiest, largest Coast Guard air station in the world.
Air Station Clearwater offers services like a medical clinic and barbershop for the hundreds of workers stationed in Tampa Bay, according to the agency’s website. The air station serves the Tampa Bay area, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean basin and the Bahamas.
“The airport maintains safety standards and all incursion incidents undergo an investigation by the TSA,” said a representative for the airport.