Unable To Catch An Uber To The Airport, Man Drives Stolen Backhoe And Makes His Flight

It’s not easy to catch a rideshare in many parts of flyover country. One man in the part of Southern Illinois that’s known as “Little Egypt” found himself without a ride to the airport so he stole a backhoe for the 10 mile drive to the airport.

On May 18 he was caught on airport video surveillance entering the terminal with a guitar case. Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois (MWA) is currently only served by Cape Air to St. Louis, but that service will be replaced August 1 with Contour Airlines to Chicago O’Hare.

MWA Airport, Credit: Grendelkhan

At one level, missing a flight out of this airport doesn’t offer a whole lot of other options. On the other hand, it’s only a two hour drive to St. Louis. The man left the backhoe in the airport’s parking lot. He made it all the way to Elko, Nevada where he was arrested.

He was charged with felony theft, and released the same day. Then the next day he was arrested again – with another stolen vehicle.

(HT: Paul H)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. It’s not easy to catch a rideshare in many parts of Northern Virginia, either. I live two miles from DCA. Uber after the pandemic ended remains nearly as bad as during it. I live two miles from DCA, and over half the time, my Uber requests take five minutes to load, and then are cancelled two or three times, and then select a driver on the other side of town about a thirty-minute drive away. Ridiculous. I hate using Uber, but often have no choice. If urban NoVA were to have a misplaced backhoe, I’d do the same as this flatlander….

  2. At least followed proper safety protocol and lowered the bucket before walking away. This help prevent the backhoe from rolling away, even with the parking brake set and reduces the trip hazard.

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