Co-worker of DuPage car jacker on the lam arrested in Venezuela
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org July 19, 2013 9:47AM
Updated: August 21, 2013 6:11AM
A former co-worker of missing nuclear plant engineer Michael Buhrman has been arrested in South America on charges he aided Buhrman in a bizarre 2012 DuPage County carjacking.
Landon Brittain, 31, was arrested earlier this month in Venezuela, then extradited back to DuPage County, where a judge this week set his bail at $1 million.
Brittain formerly worked with Buhrman at the Dresden Nuclear Station in Morris, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said Friday.
Buhrman, a highly paid nuclear reactor engineer, was charged in May 2012 with stealing a 2000 Pontiac at gunpoint from a woman in a Woodridge parking lot.
He was arrested minutes later by police. He was carrying a .45-caliber handgun and wearing a life-like latex mask and he told police he had stolen the car for “the thrill,” though investigators said they doubted that claim.
Buhrman vanished last September while free on bond and hasn’t been seen since. A girlfriend told police the U.S. Navy veteran had talked about collecting $100,000 in gold bars as part of a plan to flee to South America to escape prosecution.
Despite his escape, Buhrman was convicted last April in absentia and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
At his sentencing, a detective testified that Buhrman allegedly had tried to recruit a friend to join a crew he was assembling that would target banks and cash-carrying armored cars.
Buhrman purportedly told the friend he wanted to model the robberies after those depicted in the Ben Affleck movie “The Town.”