Bill Blocher was asleep in his central Ahwatukee Foothills home Monday night when he was awakened just after midnight by the yells of his teenage son, whose car was just then being backed out of the driveway by thieves.
Blocher's son had arrived home only minutes before, and had become suspicious when, through the kitchen window, he saw an unfamiliar car parked with its lights off in front of the family's Rocky Slope Drive home. He was just in time to see his 1993 Honda Accord being driven away, Blocher said.
"The amount of time when he pulled into the driveway and when it was stolen was less than five minutes," he said.
Although the car was not recovered until Wednesday afternoon, Blocher credited the Phoenix Police Department with a quick and intense response. Only minutes after his 911 call, the department had about a half-dozen police cars and a helicopter patrolling the area, he said.
"They did a lot of work for a '93 Honda," he said.
Lt. Mark Tallman, a department spokesman, said that compared to other areas of Phoenix, the rate of car thefts in Ahwatukee is relatively low.
"Stolen vehicles in Ahwatukee are not very common," he said. "A lot of times it's kids getting into it for joy riding or using it to travel from one point in the city to another."
Police received only a vague description of the suspects. Blocher said he believed there were four people involved.
"They did arrive in the area in another vehicle. It's not like they didn't have other transportation," he said. "In a sense it was kind of organized on their part."
He said officers notified him Wednesday that they had found the vehicle at an apartment complex near 45th Street and Baseline Road. There was minor damage to the door and steering column, but otherwise nothing had been removed from it, he said.
"The police said that's a common area to drop the vehicles off," Blocher said.
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