Aug 12, 2014 12:02 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Red light camera captures stolen car, but who's behind the wheel?

TUCSON - A college student is taking to social media to catch a car thief.

Weeks after her Ford Focus was stolen it was involved in a crash, that sent a man to the emergency room. The suspect fled.

Days later, a clue identifying a person of interest showed up in her mailbox.

A man behind the wheel of the stolen car was caught on camera, a red light camera.

Alison Penze was out of town when burglars helped themselves to electronics and her 2012 red Ford Focus.

It happened July 10, at 11:18 in the morning. A neighbor's surveillance camera captured the suspects 2009 or newer black Pontiac Vibe coming and going from their west side street, with Penze's car in tow.

The next day a man was caught on-camera blowing through a red light near 6th Avenue and Ajo Way. But the ticket wouldn't show up in the mail until weeks later.

"I open it and they got a very clear picture of his face and that was a huge relief, because now I know a key to the puzzle," said Penze who returned to Tucson to sort it all out.

On July 26, she learned that her car was involved in a bad accident on Alvernon Way. The motorcyclist who was hit, is still in the hospital. The suspect behind the wheel ran away.

"I definitely need to know who was driving the car at the time of the accident, because it's not even about my belongings anymore. It's not about my car. It's about how he hurt someone so badly and that's what makes me so angry," Penze said.

Tucson Police collected DNA evidence from Penze's wrecked car, but it takes time to process.

"There was fingerprints taken from the steering wheel, also heroin needles throughout the car, used heroin needles," said Penze.

Detectives say it's not known if the man in the red light photo is responsible for breaking into Penze's home and later crashing the car.

For now he's being called a person of interest. Penze hopes it's a clue that helps crack the case.

"But it also looks like, someone pointed out to me on Facebook that there's someone in the backseat," she said.

She's taken to Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word.

"What makes me really want to try to catch him, is that he hurt someone and he's still out there," said Penze who has stepped up security at her home by installing a security system and cameras.

If you have any information that could help police call 911 or 88-CRIME.


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