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Hesperia Airport employee arrested for burglary

HESPERIA, Calif. ( — The operations manager at the Hesperia Airport was arrested for burglarizing the Aviator Café over the weekend.

The suspect, 65-year-old Stephen Vespe, is the Operations Manager at the airport located at 7070 Summit Valley Road in Hesperia.

Officials said sometime between 10:44 a.m. on October 26th and 12:00 p.m. on October 27th, the suspect, 65-year-old Stephen Vespe broke into the Aviator Café.

“The suspect(s) forced open a window to the business, entered, and took approximately $1,800.00 in hand and power tools along with an $800.00, 5-foot gumball machine,” stated a sheriff’s news release.

According to a Facebook post from Melanie Porteous, the Hesperia Police Department obtained video surveillance showing Stephen Vespe and the airport maintenance man removing the stolen items through the back window of The Aviator Cafe and loading them into Stephen Vespe’s car.

Detectives from the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station were able to positively identify one of the suspects as Stephen Vespe, an employee of the Hesperia Airport, officials said in the news release.

Detectives executed a search warrant at the maintenance hangar at the Hesperia Airport, as well as, Vespe’s residence in Hesperia. Detectives located the stolen tools and gumball machine at his residence and returned the stolen items to the victim.

According to Porteous post, Debbie Vespe is the airport manager and wife of Stephen Vespe, who also lives where the stolen gumball machine was found.

On October 20, 2019, the Aviator Cafe at Hesperia airport thanked the public for their support over the past 3 years and informed customers the restaurant was forced to shutter the doors after a lease dispute with the landlord.

The restaurant found a new location at the Apple Valley Airport. The official announcement was wade on October 30th.

“We are happy to announce the opening of the Little Aviator Cafe at Apple Valley Airport this coming Saturday morning at 6 AM! Our hours are 6 AM to 2 PM Saturday and Sunday, and 7 AM to 2 PM Monday through Friday.”

The Hesperia PD did not mention if they were actively searching for any additional suspects.

If you have any information in regards to this investigation, please contact the Hesperia Detectives Bureau, Deputy J. Carty at (760)947-1500 or Sheriff’s Dispatch at (760)956-5001.

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