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Cash reward for the finding and the return of my car - '57 Bel Air F.I.
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coupe - black with silver and black interior .VIN# VC57T182111 .Pennsylvania tag - 57-JJM . Stolen from Union Blvd.Bethlehem,PA Ready for the catch - here it comes - taken in 1969 .Yeah, I know its a real long shot but I'd like to solve this mystery before I pass on .If you have time on your hands here is a part-time job.This is not a joke - cash paid -no questions asked .Just to prove it here is my number - 610 533-6393 and its in my pocket - always.
 

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The Statute of limitations has come and went so the person that stole it has nothing to fear. Not legally anyway. Even if they were 20 years old when they ripped it off, they would be over 72 years old today.

Your car is and has been, somebody else's car for probably ten times longer then you

So even if you found it intact exactly like it was the day you last saw it,.. It ain't yours and the person that has it owns it.

So who in the heck is going to give you a 57 Chevy for 20 grand?
 

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It is a crime to knowingly possess stolen property.
This would apply to the original thief, and to anyone that obtained it knowing it was stolen.

A stolen vehicle can be legally recovered, or taken back and returned to the rightful owner, without compensation.
It doesn't matter whether the current 'owner' knew it was stolen.

If it is recovered and the 20k reward is paid, then the rightful owner effectively bought it back for 20k.
 

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Just because the statute of limitations has passed and the thief no longer has to fear criminal prosecution, that doesn't mean that the person it was stolen from wouldn't still have a legal claim to the vehicle.

As much of a long shot as it is, I don't blame the person for trying to find a fuelie '57. I'm not sure about plastering the VIN all over the Internet as you risk the person seeing it and finding some 'alternative paperwork' for what is likely a six figure car. If I was really determined, I'd probably keep quiet and try to get that VIN run in as many countries as possible and see what happens. Any money spent is likely an investment without return, but I wouldn't blame someone for trying.
 

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It is a crime to knowingly possess stolen property.
This would apply to the original thief, and to anyone that obtained it knowing it was stolen.

A stolen vehicle can be legally recovered, or taken back and returned to the rightful owner, without compensation.
It doesn't matter whether the current 'owner' knew it was stolen.

If it is recovered and the 20k reward is paid, then the rightful owner effectively bought it back for 20k.
Sounds fair, You are wrong, but what you posted sure seems fair.

The term knowingly is a vague laymen term and has no legal bearing.

The "Original Thief" can not be charged for a theft that happened 52 years ago. In the eyes of the law, it is no longer even seen as a crime.

Any item attained through legitimate bonafide means shall have precedent over the "rightful" owner. If the car was found, and the owner of it bought it off a used car lot or from some other legitimate source you will be hard pressed to see law enforcement step in to "recover" said vehicle. It will become a civil matter and I seriously can not see any court that would step in to this buzz saw of litigation. They would state that there is no course of action or legal remedy to sustain a court order.
 

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Not sure about other states, but the statute of limitations on stolen cars wont be handled that way here! Yes, the thief, or the person who is in possession can no longer be charged for the theft, or the possession. But the rightful owner who still has the title gets the car back.
This happened to a guy I know right here, and the car was his 1970 Cuda 440 Six Pack, 4 speed car he bought new in 1970. Stolen from his garage while he and his wife were gone for the weekend. It was gone for years, and it showed up when the person who had it was at Barrett Jackson trying to offer it to individuals in the audience. The guy was a fairly well to do business owner, and he had no title, so nobody went for the deal. He returned home and went to a local tow company to have them assist him in getting a lien title. Funny thing was that meant the state sent a letter to the last known title holder, and he still lived in the same house! When he got the letter he called the tow company, who then realized they were in big trouble trying to title a stolen car, and told him it must be a mistake, and he could come get his car. Then they hung up, called the guy trying to title it, and he came rushing down and took the car home!
The cops got involved, and eventually told the guy he had to give the car back. But a few days later he gave the original owner an empty shell, as he'd hired guys to strip it down to nothing. The crap hi the fan big time, and cops told him to give the owner all the parts, but he insisted he had none. People who'd seen the car at his house came forward and told the cops it was a complete car just weeks before, and he finally gave the owner all the parts too. No charges ever brought against this piece of crap guy.
A bunch of local hotrodders got together, and put his car back together, and even freshened up the 440, all for free. Far as I last heard he will never sell it, and it is 100% original. His son will take over when dad passes it along to him.
This was a huge local news story for months as it all unraveled and finally got righted.
 

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If he has the police report for a stolen vehicle and still has the title it goes back to him if recovered.
Pretty big assumption that this car is rolling around with it's original VIN. Even bigger assumption that the current "owner" would have any connection with the circumstances that put this car in play. The law and courts are driven by the law, the law requires factual corroborated evidence. There is no smoking gun.
 

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Call the PA DMV enforcement division. They're responsible for all vehicle and title fraud, etc. There's a national database that can be searched for all stolen vehicles. And, they should be able to trace if the car is still in existence and registered anywhere in the US. Of course, be prepared to provide proof that it was yours and was stolen (do you still have the title)?
 

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Pretty big assumption that this car is rolling around with it's original VIN. Even bigger assumption that the current "owner" would have any connection with the circumstances that put this car in play. The law and courts are driven by the law, the law requires factual corroborated evidence. There is no smoking gun.

Im not assuming anything. I doubt the car still exists but if it does it's his if the original VIN is still on the car, such as frame. Anyone that bought it not knowing it was stolen is [edited by admin for language, by chevman57] out of luck if it's recovered.
Years ago my friends car was stolen it was spotted and the police found the original VIN. It was impounded from the current owner that bought it unsuspecting and returned to my friend. The guy that thought he owned it had bought new wheels and tires for it, he said to the cops that those were his, NOPE, what ever was on the car when recovered went to the rightful owner.
Study law some time.
You can never "clean up" stolen property as long as it's positively identified
 

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Im not assuming anything. I doubt the car still exists but if it does it's his if the original VIN is still on the car, such as frame. Anyone that bought it not knowing it was stolen is out of luck if it's recovered.
Years ago my friends car was stolen it was spotted and the police found the original VIN. It was impounded from the current owner that bought it unsuspecting and returned to my friend. The guy that thought he owned it had bought new wheels and tires for it, he said to the cops that those were his, NOPE, what ever was on the car when recovered went to the rightful owner.
Study law some time.
You can never "clean up" stolen property as long as it's positively identified
Can you show me any case that is over 5 decades old that does not have a murder or rape connected to it that has ever, and I mean ever been enforced, in terms of returning property. ( I will capitulate in any case or cases regarding federal currencies or tax)

It might surprise you just how much I have "studied" the law. ;)
 

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Cash reward for the finding and the return of my car - '57 Bel Air F.I. View attachment 352124 View attachment 352124 View attachment 352124 View attachment 352124
coupe - black with silver and black interior .VIN# VC57T182111 .Pennsylvania tag - 57-JJM . Stolen from Union Blvd.Bethlehem,PA Ready for the catch - here it comes - taken in 1969 .Yeah, I know its a real long shot but I'd like to solve this mystery before I pass on .If you have time on your hands here is a part-time job.This is not a joke - cash paid -no questions asked .Just to prove it here is my number - 610 533-6393 and its in my pocket - always.
She is a beautiful 57 and I hope you get the answer(s) you are looking for. Elijah
 

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Can you show me any case that is over 5 decades old that does not have a murder or rape connected to it that has ever, and I mean ever been enforced, in terms of returning property. ( I will capitulate in any case or cases regarding federal currencies or tax)

It might surprise you just how much I have "studied" the law. ;)
I don't see anything over 50 years like you ask, but there have been a number of cars returned after long periods of time and multiple owners.

40 years - Stolen ’64 Chevrolet Corvette Returned to Owner after 40 Years
27,18, 37 years - Cold-Case Classics: Cars Stolen Long Ago Find Their Way Back (Published 2007)
42 years - Texas Man Finds Stolen Car 42 Years Later
33 years - VIDEO: Stolen car returned after 33 years
36 years - https://newjersey.news12.com/nj-woman-reunited-with-car-stolen-36-years-ago-34876871

This is just a 2 minute Google, not serious research by any means.
 

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he "Original Thief" can not be charged for a theft that happened 52 years ago.
I did not mean to suggest the original thief can be charged for stealing the vehicle when that happened so long ago.
But the statute of limitations also applies to possessing a stolen vehicle, if the thief had recent enough possession.
And Washington state law implies you don't even have to know it's stolen.
From Motor Vehicle Theft Crimes in Washington State | Burg Theft Defense
  • Possession of a Stolen Vehicle (9A.56.068):
    A person commits possession of a stolen motor vehicle by possessing a stolen vehicle regardless of the value of the vehicle.
    Possession of a Stolen Vehicle is a class B felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine. Actual penalties for a Washington theft crime, however, are determined by the Sentencing Reform Act, RCW 9.94A and the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines.
Sounds fair, You are wrong
Perhaps I am wrong, but I'm not sure specifically what you are referring to.

If the current 'owner' didn't know it was stolen, I doubt he'd be prosecuted criminally, despite the statute -- especially in the current prosecutorial climate.
A civil action could force the vehicle to be turned over to the owner when it was stolen.

This is probably all moot, as I agree finding the vehicle at this late date would be extremely unlikely.
 

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Anecdotal side bar. A vehicle with a bogus VIN is traded in to a dealership, dealership in turn sells it at auction. Both the dealership as well as the auction have verified the VIN and proceeded, as the vehicle checked out. A third dealership specializing in used older cars buys car at said auction. The car is brought back to the dealership, cleaned up and put out on the lot. (This all took less then 3 weeks time) A buyer enters the picture, falls in love and buys the car on the spot. They have a beautiful relationship that lasts 25 years. In that time the car is transformed. New everything including a new chassis. The old chassis is sold and the buyer of that chassis cleans it up and uses it on a long term restoration. During that restoration the chassis is cleaned up and a serial number that is different then the one on his bill of sale appears.

Police are called, chassis is impounded, they even wanted to impound the body that was sitting next to it but cooler heads prevailed and the chassis and body did not share the same VIN and all documents checked out. During the investigation the police go to the person that sold the chassis. They want to see the car it came out from under. He cooperates, they verify the vin as not matching the chassis but not actually matching anything other then the registration and title the owner posses and he even shows 24 previous expired copies of it. (This guy keeps everything) An investigator for the highway patrol takes down all the information and leaves.
After many months a letter arives in the mail from the CHP stating that the VIN is in fact not valid, that the DMV had made an error and the car should never have been able to be registered. The original dealership, the auction house and even the used car lots are all gone. The investigation ends there, except for that pesky VIN number on the chassis. The CHP stated that a certified letter would be sent except they have no address or known information at all about the poor person the car was stolen from.

That chassis, the one that was impounded... It came back to the person that had bought it, they even waved impound fees and the tow truck company produced a invoice for $125

A new Vin has been assigned to both the car and it's old chassis.

Perhaps the story would have been completely different if the victim had been available.
 
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