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Stolen Corvette surfaces from Morena storage unit 24 years later

Cops okay eBay auction?

An extensive detailing to remove a quarter century's worth of dust returned the red ragtop to cherry condition
An extensive detailing to remove a quarter century's worth of dust returned the red ragtop to cherry condition

A 1989 Chevrolet Corvette that was stolen from a Morena car dealership when new was for sale on an eBay Motors auction this week.

The Corvette was reportedly taken off the C&M Chevrolet lot and kept inside a nearby storage locker for 24 years. Still completely original, the car’s odometer reads 67 miles, and the original sales sticker remains affixed to the glass.

The thief recently came forward, reportedly through an attorney, and was cleared by the San Diego police to sell the car (whether this was due to a statute of limitations expiring is unclear). The thief allegedly paid an estimated $70,000 in storage costs over the years. Comparable used models of the same year vehicle are now valued at less than $10,000.

The “truly amazing find” is now owned by a Sherman Oaks dealer, Corky Rice. Following extensive detailing work to remove a quarter century's worth of dust, the red ragtop is in cherry condition once again and described as “a collector’s dream.”

The eBay no-reserve auction for the car closed at noon on Sunday, receiving over 70 bids. The winner’s closing bid of $39,471 was noted as equal to the car’s original retail sale price.

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An extensive detailing to remove a quarter century's worth of dust returned the red ragtop to cherry condition
An extensive detailing to remove a quarter century's worth of dust returned the red ragtop to cherry condition

A 1989 Chevrolet Corvette that was stolen from a Morena car dealership when new was for sale on an eBay Motors auction this week.

The Corvette was reportedly taken off the C&M Chevrolet lot and kept inside a nearby storage locker for 24 years. Still completely original, the car’s odometer reads 67 miles, and the original sales sticker remains affixed to the glass.

The thief recently came forward, reportedly through an attorney, and was cleared by the San Diego police to sell the car (whether this was due to a statute of limitations expiring is unclear). The thief allegedly paid an estimated $70,000 in storage costs over the years. Comparable used models of the same year vehicle are now valued at less than $10,000.

The “truly amazing find” is now owned by a Sherman Oaks dealer, Corky Rice. Following extensive detailing work to remove a quarter century's worth of dust, the red ragtop is in cherry condition once again and described as “a collector’s dream.”

The eBay no-reserve auction for the car closed at noon on Sunday, receiving over 70 bids. The winner’s closing bid of $39,471 was noted as equal to the car’s original retail sale price.

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Comments
18

With storage costs, it looks like the thief lost money on the deal.

Dec. 24, 2012

It would appear so. What I don't understand is why didn't the guy just take the car out of storage and leave it on the street somewhere for the cops to find? They may not be able to prosecute him due to statue of limitations, but the guy probably now has a record of some kind. And not only is he losing money on the deal based on the cost of storage and what he got for the car, but he also had to pay for an attorney. Makes no sense at all.

Dec. 24, 2012

Most of this sort of thing makes little or no sense. Why steal a car like that and then spend $ thousands to store it? But who said that anything has to make sense?

Dec. 25, 2012

$250 a month is some pretty high quality storage. It should have come with detailing.

Dec. 25, 2012

I'm no expert but I believe the statute of limitations on this is 3 years. So, keeping the car in storage for 21 extra years makes even less sense--especially at that price!

I've been accused of having an overactive imagination in the past, but I am starting to think the car is really not the thing. I don't know what it was, but it just may have been something else. Maybe something that was in the car (money? drugs? both?)...or, something the car was used for (getaway?) or maybe it was involved in a serious crime. Maybe the concern was the car could have been used as evidence for some other crime. ???

Something. Something that makes more sense than what we've read so far.

Dec. 25, 2012

bet he wishes he could turn back time at least 24 years...

None

Dec. 26, 2012

Don't you remember Reggie Hammond in 48 Hours (Eddie Murphy). He went to jail for years just to hide thousands of dollars in his stored Porsche, so the cops would never find the money. And I spent $75 a month for 5 years to store mostly crap, which at the time, I thought was important crap.

Dec. 29, 2012

Reggie Hammond!!!!! it was actually 3 1/2 years, and that was one hell of a good show......

Dec. 29, 2012

Jack: All right, where's the goddamn car? Reggie: Be cool man, the car is parked. Jack: For three years? [shouts] Jack: Bullshit! Reggie: Bullshit? I'll let you in on a little secret, Jack... you just passed it!

Luther: [at the garage where Reggie's car has been stored] I'm here to pick up my car. Garage Attendant: Name? Luther: Hammond... Reggie Hammond. Garage Attendant: [looks at the ticket stub] This ticket's three years old! Luther: Yeah... I've been BUSY!

Dec. 30, 2012

Let's not lose sight of the fact that the thief is not selling that car. He/she may not have been charged criminally, but that doesn't mean that the perp can now sell it! The title was never transferred from the original owner, in this case C&M Chevrolet, to anyone save for their insurance carrier (if the dealership had such coverage.) So, I'd suppose that either C&M or an insurer owns it. Why not just let C&M sell it off the lot? It will probably command a higher price in auction, and when the buyer drives/hauls it away, the whole caper will be over.

Dec. 29, 2012

the insurance paid-off c&m back then and then sold it to another dealer when found...

Jan. 4, 2013

This appears to be a case of theft by conversion. Can a thief who steals by conversion obtain legal title to stolen property merely by possessing the property until the criminal statute expires?

Dec. 29, 2012

The car is stolen property, once it is entered into the database, or documented as stolen, the owner still has title and gets the property back when found. A good example is artwork stolen by the Nazi's in the late 1930's thru 1945. Much of it ended up in museums and private hands, and eventually had to be returned to the rightful owners, who were the heirs to the actual owners, after 60+ years. An extreme example, but accurate. This happens with artwork fairly often. I recall one case where a Stradivarius violin was stolen and found 10 years later and had to be returned. Here is another car example that happene recently; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehTyk9...

Dec. 30, 2012

I am the buyer if the Corvette. The thief DID NOT sell the car. The reporter above got the story all wrong. San Diego police gave the car back to the insurance company and I bought the car from them thru a representative of theirs. I put the car on eBay and I sold the car thru eBay to a gentleman in Newport Beach Ca. The dumb thief lost over $70000 in storage fees. I sold the car for $39471. Original sticker price. The thief got NO money from the sale. Corky Rice

Jan. 1, 2013

I agree, the thief was a nut....Corky Rice, what did you pay the insurance company for the car???

Jan. 1, 2013

hey corky, some people's minds lead them to make bizarre conclusions... congrats on the purchase and sale... you're famous...

Jan. 4, 2013

thanks for "the rest of the story", burwell...

Jan. 4, 2013

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