For every 46 seconds, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States. There is an estimated 689,527 motor vehicles that have been reported to be stolen in the United States in the year 2014, about 1.5% decrease from the previous year.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, most of these thefts happened in seven cities in California. There have been vehicles that never made it back home but there are also some happy endings.
For example, take the 1979 C3 Corvette that was stolen in Detroit some 35 years ago. Fortunately, the car was recovered in Mississippi and was returned to its owner George Talley who is now 73 years old. Luck or whatchamacallit may have been in Talley’s side because General Motors covered all shipping and restoration expenses; and of course, news would never have spread if not for the local radio station who broadcasted the reunion of Talley and his C3 Corvette.
Just recently, a stolen 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi finally reunited with its owner. Its owner never thought it was possible to get the car back but fortunately, the coupe made it back alive. The 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi is a two-door targa body type rear-wheel drive coupe that is powered by a V8 engine.
It can produce around 205 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of torque. The 308 GTSi can accelerate from zero to 60 in 7.3 seconds, not the fastest in Ferrari’s line up of road racers but still one of the classics. It also has an estimated top speed of 147 mph.
All these hot details and more make the 308 GTSi an item in any thief’s list. The vehicle was supposed to be exported to Poland earlier this month but thanks to an informant, the Los Angeles Federal Agents were able to stop the shipment.
The car has only 45,000 miles recorded in its odometer and it is estimated to be worth $50,000. What made it even more convincing that this was the same vehicle stolen some 28 years ago is that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that replaced its original VIN has been recorded on another 1982 Ferrari 308 GTS that had been shipped to Norway back in 2005.
Upon knowing the true origin of the 308 GTSi, the US-customs immediately red-flagged it and refused to export the said vehicle. The identities of who tried to export the 308 GTSi to Poland and who will receive the shipment are still unknown since investigations are ongoing.
These stories of car and owner reunion might have had happy endings but the chances are low that this will be the same fate for other stolen vehicles. For car owners, the least you can do so that your cars will not be stolen is to keep it locked in a safe place.
Well, we’re not saying lock up your cars forever but just do the extra mile of making sure your car is secured at all times. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?