Stolen 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray returned to owner after 40 years

In the past two decades, fewer cars have been stolen from their owners, which has eased at least a little bit of the fear we all have about our cars being hijacked. This is especially true for people (like us) who don’t have the extra money to get a new ride right away without looking back.

But the decrease in car thefts does not mean that they are completely old-fashioned. If you look at the numbers provided by the FBI, the $7 billion that the United States lost during 2020 is still a devastating number. Moreover, the insurance company Triple-I warns that thieves are developing new theft strategies.

So, what can you do besides keep your flight as safe as possible? Not much except to believe in police work. But you can buy a used car from dealerships with more caution because there is another whole lurking threat that can get you a lot of trouble.

Thieves tend to swap VINs and sell them in stores without any problem. As a buyer, you may get a stolen car and face all kinds of issues even after years of use. Just remember this famous Chevrolet From 2016. A stolen 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was returned to its owner after 40 years, which would be great, if they found it from the thief, not from its owner 30 years ago.


Let’s take a closer look at this interesting case and consider what can happen to victims of car thieves and how you can protect yourself.

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Accidentally swapped vehicle documentation numbers were revealed at a showroom in 2016

The story behind the stolen Chevy car dates back to 1976. Modesto Fleming had parked her classic muscle car in front of the house in Anaheim, California. Unfortunately, someone saw an opportunity to steal a 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and the owner did not manage to get it back for 40 years.

After such a long time and the car had not appeared, Fleming must have given up the search. In fact, she may have done so several weeks or months after the theft, though she seriously reported the case to the local police department. In most cases, the police can do little to get the ride back.

But something extraordinary happened after forty years. A 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray appeared at a show, and a fan noticed that the VIN did not match the Corvette. The owner responsibly reported the case to the Redbluff California Highway Patrol, and Officer Dave Madrigal was assigned to check the VIN. It turns out that the number is for an Impala, not a Stingray, which means the car was stolen.

With some exploratory work, the officer was able to locate the first owner of the 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and it was Fleming.

Madrigal recounted the case to Red Bluff Daily News: “I called Anaheim and informed them of the situation. They searched for their little fish for the stolen report and called me again. Then they located the victim from 1976, who currently lives in Arizona, and told her we had her car.” . RELATED: What We Know About Four Shelby Mustang GT500s Stolen From Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant

The classic car is reunited with its original owner, who gets ten times more value after 40 years

The story of a stolen 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has a happy ending, but it tastes bittersweet. Fleming got her car back after 40 years – that’s the good news. But what about the owner, who owned a Stingray for 30 years when he found out about her background?

The man who brought in the Stingray for responsible VIN verification got the Stingray from his wife in 1987. She bought the car from a dealership that had been out of business for a long time in 2016. So, the tracking ended there, and it’s possible that the thief would never have gotten caught.

It wasn’t clear from the news that we can tell if the current owner received any compensation when Stingray went to Fleming. If not, this is a sad story. The owner was unaware that the car had been stolen when he invested his time and effort in keeping it in prime condition. All this would be completely wasted if the car was simply taken out of it.

Moreover, when the car was stolen from Fleming, it was worth about $5,000. In 2016, Stingray carries a whopping $50,000 price tag! She certainly benefited from what seemed like a lost cause. We don’t want to say the car shouldn’t be returned to the rightful owner – we just hope the second owner gets some compensation for the lost car. He took it to a show to brag about his awesome ride, after all.

The whole point would be to check the VIN before buying a car. Do your due diligence and avoid these types of surprises.


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