Man Finds His Car for Sale on eBay 42 Years after It Was Stolen



In 1970, Bob Russell's '67 Austin Healey 3000 disappeared after a date with the woman he'd eventually marry. But he never gave up on her and kept searching for the beauty for 42 years. Suspecting that the rare collectible car would be sold multiple times, he scoured online auctions for it. Finally, one morning, he saw his car for sale on eBay.

That was only the beginning of Russell's struggle. Next, he had to convince the dealer that it was indeed his Austin Healey and that the dealer had to give it back to him:

Russell said the car's vehicle identification number matched that of his Healey. In addition, he still had the original key and car title, as well as signed affidavits from friends, including the original owner, indicating that Russell had never sold the auto.

But one legal roadblock remained: He didn't have a copy of the stolen-car report he filed back in 1970. [...]

Turns out the original stolen-car report he filed in Philadelphia wasn't showing up at the National Crime Information Center because one VIN letter was entered incorrectly into the FBI's computerized index of crimes.

But thanks to persistent detectives in Philadelphia, Russell said, the report finally was located.

Once he got his hands on a copy of the report, Philadelphia police were able to reactivate the file. That enabled the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to impound the car.

Russell and his wife, Cynthia, drove to LA on June 16 and took possession of the car two days later after paying roughly $600 in impoundment fees.


Link -via Jalopnik | Photo: Michael Ainsworth/AP

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@Ned here in the UK the police never see a penny of those fees. They are set by the government and companies who contract for the police receive the money. It's something like £150 ($230) for recovery and £20 ($30) a day storage.

The biggest con however is that the charges are the same for a motorcycle as a car. That's right the government consider that it would cost the same to recover and store even the smallest and lightest moped as the biggest and heaviest car. Of course the recovery companies love getting motorcycle jobs as they can send out a pickup to collect the bike and store it in a corner of the yard for effectively nothing, the profits are therefore huge.
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