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For the Johnston family of Eckington, the seriousness of the city’s car-stealing epidemic really hit home Sept. 15 when a stolen Crown Victoria, commandeered by three boys, landed in their yard on R Street NE. Apparently, the driver couldn’t handle the tight turn he tried to make after spotting a police cruiser; the car hopped the curb and partially cleared the Johnstons’ iron fence, catching its back end on a 3-foot stone pillar. “The iron twisted like it was a soda straw,” says Mary Johnston, who was at home with her grown children, Elana and Derek, at the time. Police managed to run down the two boys who had scattered, leaving behind a mangled lawn and Elana’s trampled rosebushes and ivy. The third was found hiding in the suspended car. “The car stopped just a foot and a half before hitting our magnolia tree,” says Mary. —Dave Jamieson