Phillies outfielder Rob Ducey's car stolen during carjacking

Saturday, September 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Rob Ducey is used to chasing down balls in the outfield. But Thursday night Ducey, a reserve outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, had to chase down help after thieves stole his $96,000 car.

A trio of carjackers surprised Ducey in a dark parking lot near a popular city nightspot and made off with Ducey's silver 1999 Porsche 996. By Friday afternoon, police had found Ducey's car in South Camden and had three suspects in custody.

``I'm just glad it's over and hope it's the last time these people can do something like this,'' said Ducey, who had to take a cab to Veterans Stadium for a game with the New York Mets. ``And I'm relieved no one got hurt. The police did a great job. I was really impressed with how they treated me, even before they knew who I was.''

The suspects' names have not been released and police said the investigation was continuing.

Ducey told the Philadelphia Daily News that he had backed into a parking spot in a parking lot near South Street and was getting out of his car when he was approached by three people, one of whom had a gun.

``I threw him my keys and took off,'' Ducey said.

Ducey then ran down the street into a nearby pub, where he called police.

``It was like an adrenaline rush like you get on the on-deck circle in a big-game situation,'' he said of his sprint for help. ``It's that same rush, but obviously this is life and death.''

Shortly after the carjacking, police tried calling the thieves on Ducey's cell phone, which was still in the car. One of the assailants, who figured out the car belonged to a Phillies player, answered the phone.

Thinking the voice on the other end of the phone was Ducey, he began making demands.

``They asked for $50,000 to get the car back,'' said Ducey, who listened as police officers impersonated him.

Police tried tracing the call but it disconnected before they could do so. The thieves then started calling numbers on the phone's speed dial, Ducey said.

``I felt very violated,'' he said. ``They were using my cell phone. They were calling people that I knew. They had access to my life, and I didn't know who they were.''

About 3:50 p.m. Friday, the Porsche surfaced in a public-housing project in South Camden. Camden police took into custody the three suspects in the car.

Fortunately for Ducey, his car had little damage, police said. They were still combing the vehicle for evidence Friday night.

Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker speculated that the three carjackers were waiting for the right victim to drive up.

``Unfortunately it was Mr. Ducey,'' he said.

Ducey said he's just happy the situation didn't get violent.

``It could've been a lot worse for me,'' he said. ``He could've just shot me, so I was really lucky.''

And he's also glad no one was hurt trying to apprehend the carjackers.

``I didn't want the police to get hurt. I didn't want these guys going 150 mph down I-95 and killing somebody,'' he said. ``They can have my car.''