DeLand man accused of stealing over $50,000 in airplane parts, fuel

Joseph Lippo arrested Wednesday on theft charges

DELAND, Fla. – A DeLand aviation business owner is accused of stripping parts from planes in order to sell them and replacing them with older parts. According to the DeLand Police Department, multiple airplane owners have been victims of the scheme.

Joseph Lippo, 60, was arrested Wednesday on charges of theft of more than $10,000 from a person 65 or older and grand theft. Police said Lippo removed parts, including radios, a compass and a battery from two planes and charged the planes' owners for replacements. Lippo is also accused of stealing fuel and a life raft from one of the planes and charging the owner for repairs that police said were never performed.

One of Lippo's former employees told police the suspect regularly instructed him to remove parts and fuel from the plane stored at Lippo's hangar. Officers said the parts Lippo allegedly stole appeared for resale at a consignment store in Fort Lauderdale and on Craigslist.

The total cost of everything stolen is over $50,000, according to a news release. The release states the cost of the repairs that were never performed appears to equal "tens of thousands of dollars."

Lippo was released from the Volusia County Jail on bond Thursday morning. He declined to comment.

This is a developing story. Stay with News 6/ClickOrlando for updates.