Owner emotionally reunited with stolen 1971 Plymouth Barracuda, plans racetrack return, CHP assists in recovery
In Perris, California, a poignant reunion took place as a car owner was reconnected with his stolen 1971 Plymouth Barracuda drag racer, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The Plymouth, valued at approximately $60,000, was stolen two years ago from a storage facility, along with a trailer, tools, and spare vehicle parts.
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The breakthrough in the case came when a CHP officer from the Oceanside Area Office received a tip about the Barracuda's location in the North County region. This led to a comprehensive investigation, with officers collaborating closely with members of the local racing and classic car community.
Investigators discovered that the car had been painted black and its vehicle identification number (VIN) altered, a violation of California Vehicle Code 10751(a). The CHP also found that the Barracuda had changed hands several times across Southern California through buying, trading, and selling.
The car's rightful owner was finally reunited with his Barracuda at the Oceanside Area Office on Thursday. The CHP described the owner as "understandably emotional" and reported that he expressed intentions to return the Plymouth to the racetrack as soon as possible.
In light of this incident, CHP Capt. R. Goulding advised caution when purchasing vehicles through online marketplaces or other online platforms where fraud can occur. Goulding recommended verifying the accuracy of paperwork and titles during vehicle purchases and suggested conducting transactions at safe locations such as police stations or banks.
As of the latest update, the CHP has not reported any arrests or identified the original thief involved in the case. The recovery and reunion of the Barracuda with its owner highlight the effective collaboration between law enforcement and local community members. The CHP expressed gratitude to those who aided in the investigation, recovery, and return of the vehicle and its parts to the rightful owner. The owner, overwhelmed with emotion, looks forward to reviving the drag racer's legacy on the track.
Images Via California Highway Patrol
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