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One evening, four teenagers, Paul, Arnie, Dirk and Vince, come upon a new Thunderbird sports car and boldly consider taking the car for a joy ride. When the owner, middle-aged Miles, startles the boys and then declines to allow them to drive the car, Paul responds with an outburst of abusive language. Taken aback and frightened, Miles contacts the police, but when he admits he cannot identify the boys, the police declare there is little they can do. A few nights later, Miles discovers the boys trying to break into his garage, but Paul remains scornful and belligerent when Miles threatens to summon the police. Declaring that he will force Miles to allow them access to the car, Paul leads the boys on a campaign to bully Miles into acquiescence. Despite his mounting apprehension, Miles refuses to sign a complaint against two teens whom the police pick up during a stakeout of the neighborhood. Miles later refuses to make a false identification against three other teenagers arrested in a stolen car. Taking pleasure in Miles's increasing fear, however, Paul and the boys soon ignore the pretext of taking the car and one night break into Miles's home, where they set about terrorizing his wife Grace until she collapses. Miles then agrees to meet with Paul to allow him to drive the Thunderbird. On the night of the meeting, Miles surprises the boys by drawing a gun and forcing Paul behind the wheel. Miles makes the increasingly terrified Paul drive faster and faster until the young man pleads to stop. Miles then has Paul drive the car to police headquarters, but once there declines to press charges, certain he has taught the boys a lesson.