Okay...here goes, it's lengthy.
We had someone come into our house through the garage on Feb 23 this year, took my wife's purse, my keys to her car. Took some things out of the garage. Had the nerve to drink a beer and a soda from the garage frig. Then, took her car, closing the door as they left. All this, while she was in another part of the house. Then, they proceeded to spend about $1300 using her debit and credit cards. We filed a police report, but really wasn't holding out much hope of catching whoever it was. So, if that wasn't bizarre enough, fast-forward to the following Saturday morning (Feb 27).
I'm coming home from a meeting driving down the main avenue to my community turn off, what do I see sitting at a side road waiting to enter the road, across from my community, is a guy in my wife's car. (I did some things to her car that made it very distinctive, so as soon as I saw it, I knew it was ours, even though they changed the AZ plates for WA plates.)
I drive about 50 yards to the light to make a left into my community and sat there to see which direction he was going to go. After he doesn't move, I make a u-turn and proceed toward him. When he sees me (I'm in the SLK), he bolts. And, of course, I gave chase.
I called my wife because she's on speed dial in my car, but I can't hardly hear her because the top is down on my car. I DID consider calling 911, but my phone was about dead, and they wouldn't have been able to understand me with the top down anyway, and I wasn't about to let this guy out of my sight.
We go through an intersection, and he makes a turn into another housing area about 4-5 streets past the intersection. So, now we're doing the cat and mouse thing through a housing area. I'm obviously not comfortable with this, and realize this is going to have to stop or innocent bystanders are going to get hurt or killed. But, I'm not about to lose the guy either.
So, coming up to a T-intersection, I decided to pit maneuver him, spinning him CCW backwards into a parked car in the street, and me into the front yard. He regains control and starts down the street again. I got back on the street and a few houses down and pitted him again, spinning him 180 CW into the front yard of another house. At this point, he jumps out of the car and it begins to roll toward the house/yard next door. I decided it was better to stop the car in case it does anymore damage instead of chasing him on foot.
The car stops after running over a chain link fence, and he jumps a wall and gets away.
C ops come with a helicopter, and take statements.
I don't know if they caught him. But, in the course of him jumping out of the car, they recovered his cell phone in the yard when he jumped out of the car, his wallet w/driver's license in the passenger seat, a knife on the floorboard, and a .22 hand gun in the backyard of the wall he jumped.
So, thinking this is over, I get both cars released to me after the Phoenix PD dust the door handles and stereo for prints. I drive my wife's car home (it was more driveable than the SLK because I bent a tie-rod on the second pit maneuver), and then going through it at the house, we find things in the car that don't belong to us. So, I call Glendale PD to come go through the car again. Now, they find a pair of gloves and two velcro "ski" masks under the driver's seat. The Phoenix PD didn't bother to take or print the "Washington" license plate the thief swapped out for our AZ plate (which was still in the car). So, Glendale PD takes that, too, along with some articles found on the center console.
In the end, both her car and mine were totaled by the insurance company. But, I thought, what are the chances anyone is selling another designo? And, low and behold, I find one for sale in Laguna Beach, CA (4 hrs away)! Without hesitation, we drive over and buy it, then drive it back.
Now, since I had some $10K in parts (engine, complete designo interior, OE SLK32 body parts and misc mods) in the first SLK, it was worth it to me to buy it back from the insurance company for $930. And the wife ended up with a 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T (It's lots more fun than the Vue, though I could have done without the car payment.)
I've been slowly transferring parts from "Thing 1" to "Thing 2". The second one will be even nicer than the first!
Now...I have TWO of the twenty-six Designo C opper SLK230s. But, I don't recommend the manner in which I procured the second one.