Eerie coincidences in police detective's death

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- An eerie coincidence is coming to light in the death of Phoenix police Detective John Hobbs.

Det. Hobbs was killed in the line of duty on Monday while he and other members of a law enforcement task force were trying to arrest a wanted fugitive.

Quite shockingly, a Phoenix car rental company now facing unrelated legal trouble shows up throughout the law enforcement career of Det. Hobbs.

The rental company goes by a couple names. Phoenix Car Rental currently appears on the sign outside its store at 29th Street and McDowell. But in the past the business has gone by Saban Rent-a-Car, named after the owner, Dennis Saban.

Back in 1999 Phoenix Police discovered half a billion dollars' worth of cocaine being smuggled by two men using a truck rented from Saban Rent-a-Car. One of the cops who helped make the bust at the time was Officer John Hobbs. 

Fast forward to Monday, when now deceased Detective Hobbs and other officers were following fugitive suspect William Thornton, 28, who it turned out was driving a car rented from Saban.

The man who rented the car from Saban told 3TV he loaned it to Thornton before the shooting. 

“He said he had to move some things because he was staying in and out of hotels. I didn't have a problem with it.  I was busy so I couldn't take him. I figured I could trust him to do that,” said the man who rented the car he later loaned to Thornton. The man only spoke to 3TV on a condition of anonymity.

To be clear, Saban hasn't been implicated in any way in the shooting of Det. Hobbs. However, the company has been on 3TV’s radar for a while.

Back in the fall of last year, Three On Your Side investigated Saban after getting complaints from Saban customers who claimed the car rental company was ripping them off.

After hearing Saban's name once again popping up in Monday’s fatal shooting, 3TV checked with the Arizona Attorney General’s office and discovered yet another coincidence. The State of Arizona filed a lawsuit against Saban just before 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, alleging illegal and deceitful business practices.

The AG’s office told 3TV the lawsuit seeks to shut down the car rental company for good and asks that Saban be forced to pay restitution to Saban customers who were allegedly defrauded.

3TV asked Saban representatives at the business for comment but Saban employees directed 3TV to contact the company’s lawyers. A message to Saban’s attorney had not been returned as of this publication.