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Man reunited with Camaro stolen 27 years ago


A Nevada man was reunited Tuesday in West L.A. with a 1973 Chevrolet Camaro stolen from him 27 years ago.

Robert Andrews reported his car stolen July 31, 1983, in his former hometown of Santa Ana, said California Highway Patrol spokesman Travis Ruiz.

There were few leads in the case until last month when a man tried to register a Camaro he had recently bought from a woman in Los Angeles, who said it had been sitting in her backyard for 15 years.

The Department of Motor Vehicles told the man the Camaro would have to undergo an inspection by the CHP, which occurs when paperwork does not match up or when cars are older or customized, Ruiz said.

During the inspection, officers discovered the vehicle identification number on the windshield was not the original.

“So we found the original VIN stamped in a few other places on the vehicle,” Ruiz said.

The CHP ran the numbers and found it matched Andrews’ stolen car. With the help of the Nevada Highway Patrol, it took a month to track down the car's rightful owner.

“I think [Andrews] was probably in shock,” Ruiz said. “It’s been 27 years and he probably never thought he would get it back.”

Andrews reclaimed the car Tuesday at the West Los Angeles CHP office.

The CHP will continue to investigate the theft and plan to interview the woman who sold the car, Ruiz said. The man who tried to register the car was not a suspect, he said.

Andrews may not have to lug the car back to Nevada. Several CHP officers have already expressed interest in buying it, Ruiz said.


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Photo: Robert Andrews checks out the trunk of his recovered 1973 Chevrolet Camaro on Wednesday. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (14)

Now his 27 year old camero is a classic. I saw a show where a man paid a lot of money to get his old carmaro back, lucky for him it was just in the next state over.

Hope he gets a good price for it.

Nice story. Hope he restores it. Cool car!

I'm still waiting for my 56 Chevy back! ;-(

and were his Credence tapes still in the car?

To whoever has my 74 Gremlin: Please keep it.

oh man. no pics of the car!

a 1973 Camaro will never be a classic. Shipping cost to anywhere is higher than the value of the car.

This article is useless without pics!

Do you see what happens Larry? DO YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS LARRY?

Will he have to refund the insurance check he got to cover the stolen car?

Uh, a 73 Camaro is not really a good car. I owned one. Unless you consider the horn button hanging by it's wiring, and the window switches coming off in your hands to be traits of a good car.

A classic, yes, a car worthy of lust? Maybe. A good car? Not on it's best day.

I was watching some older guy proudly trying to park his 57 Chevy in a tight space. I actually felt badly for the guy to be working so hard to engage in dinosaur worship.

I've owned various Trans-Am's (Firebirds) and IROC Z-28's (Camaros, model years 67-87). After 5,000 miles, they all ride like a lumber truck, with poor suspension. Great engine, lousy ride.

My wife thought I was nuts about my analysis. She just drove a GM car and loved the ride. We rented one, this past week, with 8,000 miles on it and she asked me the mileage. When I told her, she replied that I was right about GM cars and their suspensions.

I have been driving Ford Motor products since the early 90's, and never looked back.

Hmmmm....seems to me that if it's now for sale again by the real owner, the poor guy who was doing the right thing by trying to register it should get his money back from the lady who sold it to him and then he alone should have first dibs.

I'd be pissed if I was the guy who bought the car ...


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