Novato teen busted in alleged hijack plot

Novato police are cooperating with the FBI and Nashville authorities today in the investigation of a Novato teen who was arrested Tuesday for allegedly plotting to hijack an airplane.

The 16-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday night at Nashville International Airport after he allegedly told the FBI he had planned to hijack Southwest Airlines Flight 284 from Los Angeles to Nashville.

The boy reportedly had handcuffs, rope and duct tape in his bag but made no overt attempt during the flight to hijack the plane, according to FBI statements in media reports. He is being held in a juvenile detention center in Nashville.

Novato police Sgt. Jay Demski said this morning the boy's family reported him missing at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“During the investigation we developed information that he may been attempting to buy bus and airline tickets. We put the word out to transportation authorities and determined he was on a flight to Nashville,” Demski said.

Demski would not comment on reports the boy used his mother's credit card to buy the airline ticket.

“I don't know how he got to Los Angeles,” Demski said. “It is a little bit unusual as far as missing persons cases go.

Most of the time they are located relatively quickly and are off with friends. Obviously this is somewhat unusual,” Demski said.

Demski would not comment on published reports that a mock cockpit was found in the boy's home. He would not say who searched the home or when the search occurred.

Authorities are not releasing the boy's name because he is a juvenile. Demski would not say whether the teen had prior contact with Novato police.

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