A valley man says his decked-out pickup truck was stolen from the Venetian hotel-casino parking garage early Sunday morning. Thanks to the power of social media and Good Samaritans, the truck was recovered 36 hours later.
13 Action News first met truck owner Pete Daforno and his wife Amber Sunday night. They were both very upset after their 2004 F-250 crew cab four-door red pickup truck was stolen. The truck also has $20,000 worth of modifications.
Daforno says he parked the truck in the oversized section of the Venetian parking garage Sunday morning at 5:04. He says security footage shows two people got in the truck and drove off with it at 5:16 a.m.
A Facebook post about the stolen truck was shared hundreds of times. A man named Gary Gardner came across the post and made a mental note.
“I just happened to take a glimpse, you know, you flip through your phone and go oh that really sucks, that’s somebody’s truck,” said Gardner.
Monday afternoon, Gardner was driving to the store and noticed the truck.
“He had the stereo bumping,” said Gardner. “He was having a good old time over on Sunset, he drove it like it was his. He wasn’t racing or doing anything until he realized I was up behind him.”
Gardner says he was on the phone with 911 going 104 miles per hour to try and keep up with the thief. But Gardner says, he lost him when the thief made an illegal u-turn over a median.
Gardner got ahold of Daforno’s brother to tell him he followed the truck for 27 minutes. A little while later, a guy named Ben was driving down Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway when he noticed the roof rack on the truck in a nearby parking lot.
Ben pulled into the lot to make sure it was the right truck and then called Daforno’s brother.
Within minutes, Daforno, friends, family and police were all in the parking lot near Maryland Parkway and Sahara Avenue.
Daforno’s truck was in pretty good shape.
“He’s lucky he got away,” said Daforno. “He’s that lucky he got away.”
A worker from a nearby business says their security cameras show the thief changing his clothes inside the truck and putting on a wig with curly hair before running away.