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Leave It to Wally’s Son : Crime: The theft of a Porsche has a happy ending when the child of a sitcom star fights back.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

What would Ward have thought?

Christopher Dow--the son of Tony Dow, who played Wally in “Leave It to Beaver"--got his mom’s 1971 Porsche stolen Monday by leaving the keys in the ignition and the top down near Taft High School in Woodland Hills.

But the next day, Dow, 18, got a second chance few victims of auto theft ever get.

He spotted the suspected teen-age thief pushing the car near Fallbrook Avenue and Saticoy Street in West Hills. Dow knew it was the stolen car because of its distinctive license plate: “HI HUNEY.”

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So, Dow pulled over and asked the 16-year-old, whose name was not released because of his age, where he got the car. The youth responded that it was a friend’s car. “I said, ‘No it’s not, it’s mine,’ ” Dow said Friday.

Instead of handling the confrontation with the cool demeanor that Beaver’s TV father, Ward Cleaver, might have advised, Dow grabbed the suspected thief in a headlock and shouted for a nearby shop owner to call the police. Dow, a senior at Chaminade High School in West Hills, and a friend watched the teen-ager until a patrol car arrived and the youth was arrested on suspicion of auto theft.

“I wanted to hit him, but I didn’t think I should,” said Dow, who wants to become a firefighter. “I had to do something, so I just grabbed him.”

The car was largely unscathed, save for some minor engine damage and the removal of a small “Leave It to Beaver” sticker on the rear window.

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Father Tony Dow--who played Beaver’s older brother on the popular 1950s and 1960s television sitcom--said: “It’s cool that he had the guts to put a headlock on him. Ward and I may have differed on that. Ward probably would have said that he should have gone to the police. I just thought it was really cool.”


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