A Lubbock Business owner recovered his custom truck Thursday evening after promising $1,000 to anyone with information about his stolen vehicle. When he arrived at work Thursday morning, he found his beloved truck stolen.

Rudy Torrez, the owner of Super Tech Automotive Shop on North University, said that when he left his work the night before, he had parked his prized 1984 Chevrolet Blazer in the parking spot closest to the building. The following morning at 8 a.m., he found the spot empty except for a cell phone that had been left on the ground and some pieces of the steering wheel column which had been broken. 

Torrez filed a police report with the Lubbock Police who have now taken the cell phone as evidence. In the 11 years since he opened his business– with cars moving in and out of his lot every day– he says that not a single one had been stolen until his own vehicle disappeared Thursday.

Thursday evening, Torrez got a tip from someone who knew where the truck was. Torrez drove to a home near 91st and Elgin with Lubbock Police officers and visited the address. Sure enough, his Chevy was inside their garage. Lubbock Police arrested two people in connection with this case, a man and a woman, one of whom had an outstanding warrant. 

Torrez said he is incredibly grateful to the Lubbock community for helping him to locate his truck. 

The truck was something Torrez had wanted for a long time, he has loved cars since he was a little boy and referred to his blazer as his “real life Tonka truck.” He worked for decades in the automotive industry until he bought it, then tailored the interior, paint job, and wheels just how he wanted them.

“It’s not a special Blazer to anyone else, it’s just to me, I fixed it up exactly like I wanted it,” he said. 

“Life hasn’t always been good, and now it is. And you try and accumulate things, and you want to be the boy with the most toys and then somebody wants to help themselves to one of them, so that’s not right you know,” Torrez said. “Every body tries to work hard for what they have and you don’t want nobody taking what you have.”

Torrez’s story is not an isolated incident, Lubbock Police said that on average, they deal with 25 stolen vehicle cases each week. So far in 2017 (not counting March 16) there have been 281 vehicles reported stolen in Lubbock. In statistics for prior months and years, more than half of all the auto theft crimes were committed by people the victim didn’t know.

Mandy Myers who works in crime prevention with the the South Plains Auto Theft Task Force reiterated that auto thefts are quite common in Lubbock. Though she noted many cases her office sees involve people who leave their cars running with the keys in them, which was not the case for Mr. Torrez.  Myers said that what happened to Torrez– the theft of a locked vehicle through breaking a steering collumn- is more rare.

Myers recommends that if you find your vehicle stolen, report it immediately to your local lawn enforcement agency, make note of your VIN number, and continue to follow up on your case.