UPDATE FEB. 19 According to police, the subject arrested in this incident is 41-year-old Jeffrey Lambert. He is booked in Clark County Detention Center with multiple charges including petite larceny and failure to comply to airport regulations.
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - A suspected beer thief is under arrest after Las Vegas police say he tried to make a getaway by climbing the perimeter fence at McCarran International Airport and ran across an active runway.
It all started around 3 p.m. Friday when the man swiped beer and snacks from the Terrible's gas station at Sunset and Spencer, according to police and a store employee.
Seconds later, the thief ran across Sunset and began climbing the airport fence lined with razor wire.
Police said the man was stuck briefly but then managed to free himself and ran across an active runway.
Air Traffic Control quickly sent Delta Flight 756 away from the danger on the runway.
"Delta 756 maintain 6 thousand 5 hundred and turn left hitting 1-niner zero. We’re gonna bring you back around"
“When there is something unexpected that happens very quickly on the runway that could put those several hundred passengers in danger or any example like that could be the next air disaster," said Aviation Expert Retired Lt. Col. Chris Walach.
Walach said the most critical times for a pilot is take offs and landings.
"When that airliner is on final approach like that airliner was Friday, it is the most critical because they have the shortest time to react," explained Walach.
While planes were shuffled from Runway 26 to Runway 19, police said the suspect ran toward a UPS cargo plane on the tarmac where he was taken into custody.
Delta Flight 756 landed safely about 30 minutes behind schedule.
Police have yet to release the name of the suspect but Walach said he could face local, state and federal charges as well as fines.
As of Friday night, crews made repairs to the damaged razor wire on the perimeter fence.