News ::  Heliflight helps recover stolen vehicle!

02/17/04      [view other news articles]

It was 2pm when Donald Leese Towing owner, Donald Leese, called Heliflight with an urgent plea to help find his stolen flat-bed tow truck. At 2:30pm they were airborne along with Donald’s 12 year old son Bradley. Flying South from Troy, they began running a grid pattern over North West Detroit looking for the vehicle. At 3:45pm, Bradley shouted “there it is!” pointing down to a junk yard near Chicago and Dexter Boulevards. Heliflight pilot Steve Lawrence closed in for a better look when to everyone’s surprise, the thieves ran out of a building, jumped in the truck and sped away!

What ensued over the next half hour was nothing short of remarkable. Everyone in the helicopter tried to use their cell phones to call the Police. But cell phones do not work well from the air, so no call was actually completed. By now the thieves had stopped in front of a house and ran in thinking they had eluded the helicopter. Steve then called Joel Alexander, WJR’s helicopter pilot, over the radio and asked for his assistance in contacting the Police. Joel zoomed his TV camera in on the corner street sign to determine the cross streets and called in the location. Meanwhile, pilot Rick Bollenger, flying SkyFox for Fox2 News had overheard the radio calls and began air to air filming of Steve’s pursuit. The thieves reentered the truck and drove several blocks, jumped out and ran away. The Police arrived, confirmed that the truck was indeed stolen and secured Donald’s truck.

But that’s not the end of this story.

Fox2 News now had a great story for the News at 10! They went to Donald Leese Towing, interviewed Donald and his son, arrived at Oakland-Troy airport at 8pm, interviewed Steve and began to build the story and edit video footage. At 10:20pm the story went on the air with an additional Live interview with Steve.

Wow! What a day! But that’s not the end of this story.

As the story aired, Steve's cell phone began to ring and didn't stop all night! The next morning it was the same thing. One inquiry after another flooded in from regular people to Police departments. It hasn’t stopped ringing since the story was aired on Fox2 News.

Call Heliflight of Michigan today to find out how we can help you recover your property!



Fox 2 News reporter Robin Schwartz with Steve Lawrence
Fox2 News Reporter, Robin Schwartz with Steve Lawrence

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