NJ stepmom shocked son would steal plane: ‘It’s a bit much’
CAPE MAY — The owner of the company that owns the small plane that illegally landed on the beach of a Coast Guard facility is "shocked" that her son would steal the plane.
Barbara Tomalino, the owner of Paramount Air Service of Cape May Court House, told New Jersey 101.5 that her stepson Jimmy Dahlen Jr., 50, worked as a mechanic for Paramount and flew off in the Piper PA12 on Sunday night. After the landing, Dahlen ran off.
She had no clue as to why he would take the plane.
"This is so bizarre. It really is. It's totally insane," Tomalino said. "On a personal and professional basis it's a bit much."
Dahlen remained on the run Tuesday morning with a criminal trespassing warrant out for his arrest. Cape May police are leading the search.
Tomalino suspects Dahlen is hiding with friends.
She did not think he had a substance abuse problem but " this certainly would indicate that in my mind."
Workers told Tomalino that Sunday was a normal workday and there was nothing unusual about Dahlen's behavior. She doesn't know where he would have run to after landing the plane.
Tomalino described her stepson as a bit of a "loner" who did not have children or a girlfriend.
"Everything seemed somewhat normal. We've certainly not had any crazy relationships here," Tomalino said.
Coast Guard spokesman John Edwards said because of the nature of the incident, several agencies are investigating, including the FAA and Coast Guard Investigative Services.
The plane was removed from the beach Monday by Paramount staff.