A 1956 Ford Thunderbird stolen from its Palo Alto owner in 1976 has surfaced 31 years later in Southern California when a woman bought it over eBay from a man in Ohio who shipped it to her.
When the woman went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a new license plate, the DMV couldn't find the vehicle indentification number (VIN), according to the Ventura County Star newspaper.
The DMV sent the woman to California Highway Patrol Officer Christopher Throgmorton, who specializes in finding VINs on old cars. That's when it was discovered that the car been stolen from a Palo Alto owner.
Palo Alto Police Officer Brian Philip said the department is checking records to find out who the original owner was and looking for the police report filed when it was stolen.
Philip added that the CHP said the car is in "perfect, original condition" with only 24,979 miles on the odometer.