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Old June 20th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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BigT67 BigT67 is offline

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Thumbs up Vehicle stolen from LA recovered after 38 years

Couple received it from relative in Texas who didn't know it was stolen

California Highway Patrol Officer Greg Bennett and Harold Voelker take a look at Voelker's 1956 Ford F-100 truck, which was stolen from him in 1972.

SAN FRANCISCO - Harold Voelker tucked away the pink slip and memories of his prized 1956 Ford F-100 pickup after it was stolen in 1972 in Los Angeles.

Both were dusted off when authorities told Voelker they had found the vehicle in Modesto — 38 years after it went missing.

"I go to car shows all the time, and I thought, I'm going to see it one of these days," Voelker, 63, said Thursday. "That was my baby."

Voelker retrieved the car Tuesday after it was discovered last week.

The California Highway Patrol said officials noticed a discrepancy in the vehicle identification number when a Modesto couple tried to register the truck after getting it from a relative in Texas who didn't know it had been stolen.

CHP Officer Greg Bennett found the original identification number and contacted Voelker, questioning him about the truck and where he had lived when it was stolen.

"He kept quizzing and quizzing, and I answered everything," Voelker said. "He said, 'Guess what, I have your truck sitting here.' I said, 'Is this a joke?'"

Bennett said it was an unusual discovery.

"There's definite gratification in getting this guy his truck back, absolutely," he said.

Harold Voelker of southern California holds the original pink slip to his 1956 Ford F-100 truck that was stolen from him in 1972 in Modesto, Calif.

Even so, Bennett called the case bittersweet, because the Modesto couple lost the truck.

Voelker said the truck is running well and seems to have more power than he remembered.

There were some changes, however. Voelker said it was pale yellow when it was stolen but is now white. It also has alloy wheels, which Voelker plans to replace with original stainless steel hubcaps.

He also intends to install a theft alarm and park the truck in his garage.

"I'm thinking about getting plates that say, 'Back Home,' or "It's Back,'" he said.

The Associated Press

<hr>Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.<hr>

Big T

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.

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