CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities at Charleston International Airport (CHS) on Tuesday arrested a man who was caught breaking into cars parked at the airport garage.
Law enforcement received a tip shortly before 10:00 a.m. that a man was walking around the second floor of the hourly garage pulling on the handles of car doors.
The caller described the suspect as a white man carrying a backpack.
The suspect was identified as Joseph Laporte (47) of Summerville.
When officials arrived, there was no one matching the description on the second floor, but they found someone that fit the description on the first floor. By that time, he had a second bag. Officers saw him walk up to a truck, open the door, climb inside, then get out.
Laporte told officers that he was returning from a trip to Iowa and his brother-in-law had left the truck with the keys inside for him to use.
Officers pressed Laporte for more information, and Laporte told him that he “had flown either American or Delta air lines” and “connected through Atlanta or Charlotte.”
When officers tried to validate Laporte’s statements, it became clear that he was lying.
Surveillance video showed that Laporte was dropped off in a white Chrysler registered to his wife around 9:30 a.m. that morning — he had not just flown in. He can be seen on video walking into the parking garage, then “walking up and down each row and cutting between vehicles, occasionally pausing for an unknown purpose,” then pulling the door handle of a car.
The man Laporte claimed was his brother-in-law that had left the truck for him told officers that he was no longer married to Laporte’s sister and he does not even own a black truck like Laporte described.
Laporte was arrested on charges of breaking and entering motor vehicles. He is currently being held at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center.