Detective John Wright was home in Hempstead, L.I., renovating his bathroom Saturday night, oblivious to what was going on in the outside world, when he got a call to respond to Times Square.
The son of a mechanic and a proud "car guy," Wright located the first and most important link in the complex chain that led to the bombing suspect: the vehicle identification number on the Nissan Pathfinder parked on W. 45th St.
Suspect Faisal Shahzad had removed the VIN from the Pathfinder's dashboard and taken the VIN sticker off the door.
But just hours after the SUV was discovered, armed with a flashlight and a greasy rag, Wright, 46, peered under the hood and easily located the number stamped on the SUV's engine block.
"Some guys have a knack for guns. Some guys have a knack for drugs. I have a knack for cars," said Wright, a 22-year veteran assigned to the NYPD's Auto Crime Division.