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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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Not much proof it was stolen - did report it back in the day .But I still have the title - you never know .........
I had my '55 Chev gasser stolen in 1971. Still have the title, and back then I posted rewards in local newspaper, and Nickel Ad too. Never heard a thing, and it was never found.
If I somehow was lucky enough to have it returned or found today, I'd do whatever I could to get it back.
 
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