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  • Found my stolen Vette can't get it back
  • Found my stolen Vette can't get it back
  • Found my stolen Vette can't get it back
  • Found my stolen Vette can't get it back

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  1. #1
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    Default Found my stolen Vette can't get it back

    My 59 Corvette was stolen in 1970. Recently it was found in Tennessee. Local DA says purchaser is a bona fide buyer and he refused to seize the car. The cop who went out to view it never even bothered to look for the VIN, just asked the owner to show him the paperwork. VIN tag was removed from door jamb. Hired legal help got not further with that after VIN on frame was viewed but is no longer legible. This car was retitled through a judges order in Arkansas in 1993. It was traced to it's current location through the chain of titles. My VIN is on his title. Involved state cops but they refused to interfere with local cops investigation. After 16k in legal fees I've run out of steam. Every case I've read about the car is seized and eventually returned to the owner or insurance company, but I guess not with mine. I bought this car when I was 18. It was my first Corvette and the car of my dreams. I guess the only thing worse than having your Vette stolen and never being returned is knowing where it is and can't get it back.

  2. #2
    Found my stolen Vette can't get it back
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    Now that is a bunch of crap! Can you press charge againt the owner for having stolen property?

  3. #3
    Member Vettehead Mikey's Avatar
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    What would happen if you had it stolen and returned to you?

  4. #4
    Found my stolen Vette can't get it back Bob Chadwick's Avatar
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    Did you collect insurance proceeds in settlement? If so, its not your car and you have no rights. It belongs to the insurance company.

  5. #5
    Found my stolen Vette can't get it back
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Chadwick View Post
    Did you collect insurance proceeds in settlement? If so, its not your car and you have no rights. It belongs to the insurance company.
    I still like the idea of stealing it back though

  6. #6
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    @ i10fwy: County attorney will not press charges or even seize the car. Small town, small county, a Nashville detective told me they probably all know each other.
    @ Mikey: I would love to have someone steal it and return it to me.
    @ bob: It was stored in a garage at the time and no insurance on it. It's my car.

  7. #7
    Administrator Yoda's Avatar
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    Contact local or regional TV Station with your information, sometimes they jump on something like this like a pit bull on ham bone...

    Contact a Station near you, then one near where the Car is If that don't work contact News Papers with the information...

    Don't just roll over now, esp. since you KNOW where it is....

    Bud
    "Quality, not quantity"
    "The American people will never knowingly adopt "SOCIALISM." But, under the name of "LIBERALISM," they will adopt every fragment of the "SOCIALIST" program, until one day America will be a "SOCIALIST NATION," without knowing how it happened.
    (Norman Thomas, U.S. SOCIALIST PARTY CANDIDATE PARTY presidential candidate 1940, 1944 and 1948)


  8. #8
    Moderator KANE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58bowty View Post
    My 59 Corvette was stolen in 1970. Recently it was found in Tennessee. Local DA says purchaser is a bona fide buyer and he refused to seize the car. The cop who went out to view it never even bothered to look for the VIN, just asked the owner to show him the paperwork. VIN tag was removed from door jamb. Hired legal help got not further with that after VIN on frame was viewed but is no longer legible. This car was retitled through a judges order in Arkansas in 1993. It was traced to it's current location through the chain of titles. My VIN is on his title. Involved state cops but they refused to interfere with local cops investigation. After 16k in legal fees I've run out of steam. Every case I've read about the car is seized and eventually returned to the owner or insurance company, but I guess not with mine. I bought this car when I was 18. It was my first Corvette and the car of my dreams. I guess the only thing worse than having your Vette stolen and never being returned is knowing where it is and can't get it back.
    If you collected anything for it back in 1970 from the insurance company, it's going to be really hard to get it back. Add in the amount of time it changed hands... statutes of limitations... and I could see why this is a mess.




    This may seem like an odd thing to propose... but have you thought about trying to purchase it?

    I know that seems like you'd have bought it two times... but many of us feel that we may have already done that with total dollars spent on repairs and parts for our Vettes.

    Going back to the topic... let's say you could get the car back as a stolen vehicle. The person who has it now will be out what they thought was their car. I rather doubt they were involved in the crime, so for them... it is their car. And why not? The State and the paperwork even says they own it. Likely, they paid money for the car and if they gave it up- they'd get nothing in return. And that isn't fair to them either- they bought the car thinking no one had rights to it but them.





    So, if you really want it back... offer to buy it from them. The worst they can say is no.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    Contact local or regional TV Station with your information, sometimes they jump on something like this like a pit bull on ham bone...

    Contact a Station near you, then one near where the Car is If that don't work contact News Papers with the information...

    Don't just roll over now, esp. since you KNOW where it is....

    Bud
    Good idea. Can't hurt to try.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KANE View Post
    If you collected anything for it back in 1970 from the insurance company, it's going to be really hard to get it back. Add in the amount of time it changed hands... statutes of limitations... and I could see why this is a mess.




    This may seem like an odd thing to propose... but have you thought about trying to purchase it?

    I know that seems like you'd have bought it two times... but many of us feel that we may have already done that with total dollars spent on repairs and parts for our Vettes.

    Going back to the topic... let's say you could get the car back as a stolen vehicle. The person who has it now will be out what they thought was their car. I rather doubt they were involved in the crime, so for them... it is their car. And why not? The State and the paperwork even says they own it. Likely, they paid money for the car and if they gave it up- they'd get nothing in return. And that isn't fair to them either- they bought the car thinking no one had rights to it but them.





    So, if you really want it back... offer to buy it from them. The worst they can say is no.
    So let's say someone steals YOUR Corvette and sells it to someone who does not know it's stolen, then that person can keep your car?? Really??. Not in my world. Whether it's a Corvette, TV, or your bicycle, it's stolen. If you have become a victim because you purchased stolen merchandise you do not go back to the original victim of the theft, you need to sue the person you bought it from. And for the record the car was stored in a garage and not insured so it does not belong to any insurance company and there is no mess, the car was traced through title records by the cops to it's current location.

  11. #11
    Moderator KANE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58bowty View Post
    So let's say someone steals YOUR Corvette and sells it to someone who does not know it's stolen, then that person can keep your car?? Really??. Not in my world. Whether it's a Corvette, TV, or your bicycle, it's stolen. If you have become a victim because you purchased stolen merchandise you do not go back to the original victim of the theft, you need to sue the person you bought it from. And for the record the car was stored in a garage and not insured so it does not belong to any insurance company and there is no mess, the car was traced through title records by the cops to it's current location.
    I don't disagree... no one should have to buy back their own property.

    But it is what it is- either you want the car back and the means justifies the ends or you stay where you are at. Life isn't fair- but you do have options beyond what tactics haven't worked.


    These are good questions to ask though... is the current owner guilty of theft? And how many folks would now need sue their way to being made whole? The current owner- and then every person through the chain to the original thief? I'm not sure that makes sense either.

    Again- I completely see where you are coming from. No one should have to buy back their property.



    But if you aren't winning- change your tactics. You've already dumped $16k into that car and you still don't have it back. Who knows- you could have paid the current owners $16k for it and have the car in your possession.


    Change your tactics. Hopefully, then you'll get your car back. The courts aren't working.
    1982 Chevrolet Corvette , 350 2k RPM Stall Converter + Updgraded Transmission + Governor Set For 5,450rpm Shifts 3.73 Code 42 Dark Mettalic Blue with a twist

  12. #12
    Administrator Mac's Avatar
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    If the local police aren't being cooperative for whatever reason, perhaps the next step is to take it up a notch and get either the state or federal police involved?

    Sorry, I see you've already talked to the state police. Hard to imagine why they're holding back??

    Out of curiosity, if the car was stolen in 1970 but located through title checks, why the +40 year delay?

    Mac
    Last edited by Mac; 08-30-13 at 08:21 AM. Reason: re-read original post
    Common sense is like deodorant. The folks who need it most never seem to use it and there's no polite way to tell them.



  13. #13
    Found my stolen Vette can't get it back Bob Chadwick's Avatar
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    I talked with an attorney that I do a lot of business with. He indicated that you could file an action in Tenessesee asking a court to determine ownership. You should have superior title and assuming the proper proof, the court should award you the car. He did indicate that there might be a statute of limitations problem. You would need to retain a Tennessee attorney for more specific guidance.

  14. #14
    Member srs244's Avatar
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    i assume you recovered value from the insurance company when it was originally stolen back whenever. you should contact the insurance company and let them know you found the car (they may have more of a bull dog mentality to get their asset back and may have more "pull" with the locals from a legal aspect). after all when they paid you you signed the title over to them before they would release the check to settle the loss. at that point, and assuming they were successful in recovery, the vehicle would belong to them for their disposal. of course as a public relations move they could offer to give it back to you if you repay them whatever claims money they originally paid out, but i wouldn't count on it. all that is assuming the company is even still in business. technically (and i would assume legally), you have no claim to the property as you don't own it any longer and your claim for value was satisfied as soon as you signed over the title to the insurance company to get paid for the loss years ago. NOW.............if you never filed a claim and never got paid (because you had no theft coverage), all those bets are off. if you have the original title, you might just have some legal rights assuming the statute of limitations hasn't expired. you say you have invested 16k into this already, i assume you have an attorney, what is he (or she) telling you to do?? that's why you pay them to provide that advice and legal council. good luck i hope it works out for you.
    steve

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58bowty View Post
    @ i10fwy: County attorney will not press charges or even seize the car. Small town, small county, a Nashville detective told me they probably all know each other.
    @ Mikey: I would love to have someone steal it and return it to me.
    @ bob: It was stored in a garage at the time and no insurance on it. It's my car.
    Quote Originally Posted by srs244 View Post
    i assume you recovered value from the insurance company when it was originally stolen back whenever.



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