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Elderly Oakland Man’s 1959 Corvette Stolen

It seems Oakland just keeps coming onto our radar for car-related crimes. And while many of the stories out of the California city are downright enraging, this one is just plain sad. An 80-year-old man had his beloved 1959 Chevy Corvette stolen out of his garage and it all happened in broad daylight.

Oakland is replacing traffic lights with stop signs thanks to rampant theft.

Criminals seem to not fear police in Oakland, which probably explains why the thieves were caught on surveillance footage shared by local station KTVU stealing the sports car in the daytime on April 15.

The victim, Dave Lechthaler, thought perhaps the manual transmission on the C1 Corvette would act as a theft deterrent. We’ve seen stick shifts stop thieves before, but these crooks were prepared to deal with the third pedal, having no problem driving off in the sports car.

Lechthaler said the theft is like a “stab to the heart.” He’s owned the Corvette for the past 18 years. He completely restored it himself, both mechanically and cosmetically, pouring countless hours and plenty of money into the convertible.

We understand how a vehicle can become like a beloved member of the family, so when thieves steal it just to make a quick buck, that really hurts.

He believes it’s possible the thieves followed him home after a car show he attended in Pleasanton. That is a thing criminals will do, using car shows or meets as a way to shop for expensive vehicles. So if you take your ride to public events like that, beware who might be following you home and check over your vehicle for hidden tracking devices.

The man explained to a KTVU reporter that he’s tired of how “there’s no consequences in this city” referring to rampant theft in Oakland. He’s not entirely wrong as the few thieves who are caught often get off with light to essentially no consequences.

Keep your eyes peeled for this 1969 Chevy Corvette and let’s see if we can help this man enjoy a happy ending to an otherwise hellish experience.

Image via Henry K. Lee/X

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“It’s like a stab in the heart.” On the eve of his 80th birthday, Oakland man is heartbroken after thieves stole his 1959 Corvette that he spent years restoring & rebuilding. @oaklandpoliceca on the lookout pic.twitter.com/nQPgtfGhaL

— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) May 18, 2024

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