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In 1989, a brand new Chevrolet Corvette was stolen from a dealership in San Diego. Over two decades later, the thief came clean.He recently reported his crime to the police because storing the car simply got too expensive.
The stolen car had been in storage for 23 years and appears to have almost never been driven.
When the police recovered the car from the storage facility, they found that it had just 67 miles on the odometer, flat tires, and “it still had that new-car smell on the inside,” according to the L.A. Times.
The man did not face charges since he cooperated with police, but the theft did not work to his financial advantage: Over more than two decades he spent $70,000 to store the red convertible, the L.A. Times reported.
According to the account San Diego Police Department auto theft detective Andrew Spear gave the L.A. Times, a lawyer representing the thief called the police to say his client had stopped paying the storage fees, and that a stolen car would be found when the unit was opened.
Spear says the lawyer told him the thief was a recent Irish immigrant who was leveraged into stealing and hiding the Corvette.
In 1983, monthly rent for the storage unit was $50; it has since climbed to $300, which is why the thief said he stopped paying.
Storage facility records revealed the $70,000 figure.
Once the car was recovered, it was given to the insurance company that had reimbursed the dealership for the lost vehicle in 1989. The company put air in the tires, recharged the batteries, cleaned off thick layers of dust, and sold it.
The buyer then sold it to Corky Rice, a Sherman Oaks car dealer, who sold it on eBay for $39,741, just slightly above the 1989 price.