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Man arrested for taking life vests from airplane as souvenir

By Mason White 10:49 AM November 7, 2014
Benjamin Wenzl 

By: Tanya Malhotra
(Scroll down for video) A man of California, was arrested for taking life vests from an airplane.

26-year-old Benjamin Wenzl was arrested after taking two lifejackets from an airplane when he landed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, police said.

Wenzl, a resident of San Diego, admitted to taking the life vests and told police that he gives them away as gag gifts, according to the Albuquerque Aviation Police Chief Marshall Katz.

However, the authorities are not taking the incident lightly.

“This could be the difference between life and death,” said Katz. “It’s not a joke. It’s not a prank. It’s a crime,” he added.

After the Southwest flight landed, a member of the crew noticed him taking the vests from under his seat, which he then placed in his luggage.

Police were notified and followed Wenzl to the baggage claim area. Once he was outside the building, he was stopped and questioned by police.

Wenzl told police he had taken life jackets from flights before “because when you inflate it, my friends get a kick out of it.”

He has been charged with misdemeanor theft.