The Phoenix Five were a group of five University of California, Magic Kidnap Prank!! Berkeley (Cal) students in Theta Chi who stole/liberated the Stanford Tree from the Band Shak on the campus of Stanford University in the early morning hours of October 17, Magic Kidnap Prank!! 1998.Magic Kidnap The Phoenix Five held the 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) costume and university’s unofficial mascot “hostage” for two weeks, Magic Kidnap Prank!! and the reaction to the heist by school administrators fueled a frenzy of media coverage which resulted in the prank being regarded as one of the most famous and notable in the history of the Big Game rivalry between Cal and Stanford Magic Kidnap Prank!!. The Phoenix Five used pseudonyms to hide their true identities,Pranksters going by Mr Magic Kidnap. Black, Mr. Green, Mr. Orange, Mr. White, and Mr. Yellow Magic Kidnap Prank!!.
The five Cal students were all members of the Mu Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity,Magic Kidnap and drove to the campus of Stanford University as part of a brotherhood activity Magic Kidnap Prank!!. Their initial intent was to steal signs from the campus,Pranksters as was a common prank in the lead-up to the Big Game,Magic Kidnap the annual football game between Cal and Stanford Magic Kidnap Prank!!. Upon arrival, the students discovered that “Cardinal Chaos” was taking place that night, the first practice of the Stanford men’s and women’s basketball teams. Posing as Stanford students, Magic Kidnap Prank!! the Five entered the event at Maples Pavilion and contemplated pulling a prank during the festivities,Pranksters but failed to find any legitimate opportunity to do so. After the conclusion of Cardinal Chaos, Magic Kidnap Prank!! the Five were by their car in an adjacent parking lot when they saw the Stanford Tree being taken away from the event by its handler, Chris Henderson Magic Kidnap. Interested in where the hated rival mascot was headed, Magic Kidnap Prank!! the Five followed it and Henderson to the old Stanford Band Shak, the home of the Stanford Band Pranksters. Discovering that a party was going on inside the Shak and now interested in the potential of getting close to the Tree, Magic Kidnap Prank!! the Five decided to wait and see if the building would be fully vacated at some point during the early morning hours Magic Kidnap.
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Returning to the Band Shak at approximately 4 a.m., Magic Kidnap Prank!! the Five determined that the band’s party had ended,Pranksters although reconnaissance work was needed to ensure that no Stanford Band members were still inside of the building Magic Kidnap Prank!!. As three of the group kept watch outside,Pranksters the remaining two members entered the Band Shak through an open window and managed to locate the Tree after going through an old medical library and a wall Magic Kidnap Prank!!. After procuring the Tree,Magic Kidnap the Five brought it out of the Band Shak through the front door,Pranksters and quickly managed to squeeze it into the back of Mr. Green’s car. As it would have taken a decent amount of time to fit three of the group’s members into the back seat as well, Magic Kidnap Prank!! the Tree was driven away from the Stanford campus and left in a nearby Palo Alto neighborhood Magic Kidnap. Once all five members returned to this safer location Pranksters, Magic Kidnap Prank!! they managed to fit themselves and the Tree into the car and drive back across the San Francisco Bay to the safe confines of the University of California Magic Kidnap Prank!!.
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The group later described the event as a “crime of opportunity”, Magic Kidnap Prank!! noting that they had no plans to steal the Tree upon arriving on the Stanford campus,Magic Kidnap and only happened to find it unattended the morning after seeing it at Cardinal Chaos Magic Kidnap Prank!!.
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