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Stolen plane circles Mississippi as pilot threatens to crash

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TUPELO, Mississippi - A person stole an airplane Saturday morning, took to the air and threatened to crash the plane into a Walmart before going down in rural Mississippi.

The pilot crash-landed in a field around 10 a.m., five hours after the chaotic takeoff. 

Police in Tupelo said they were notified of a situation around 5 a.m. Saturday.  The pilot and police were in contact and the pilot threatened to crash the plane into businesses. 

The area was evacuated, police said. 

"Citizens are asked to avoid that area until an all clear is given. With the mobility of an airplane of that type the danger zone is much larger than even Tupelo," police said. 

For five hours, police warned people in the rural areas of northern and northeastern Mississippi to be on alert, as the plane and the pilot could go down anywhere at any time.

Flight tracking data showed the plane had been circling the area of Mississippi numerous times.  

The plane is a C90 King Air.

The pilot was identified as Cory Patterson of Shannon, Mississippi.  He was taken into custody after he landed the plane in a field. Patterson faces charges of grand larceny and terroristic threats. 

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