Originally created 12/29/04

Stolen car found 23 years later



SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A vintage 1963 Ford Fairlane stolen 23 years ago from Greenville, S.C., has turned up some 2,600 miles away in California.

California Highway Patrol officers called Terry and Robin Smith last week to tell them authorities had recovered the vehicle.

"What a wonderful gift at Christmastime... After 23 years to receive news that they'd found our car." Robin Smith said.

A few weeks ago, a person brought the car into the CHP's San Bernardino office for inspection. A sharp-eyed officer noticed the car's identification numbers didn't match and began investigating.

CHP's Lt. Greg Williams said authorities don't believe the people who brought the car in had anything to do with the theft.

Smith said the car was a wedding gift from her parents, but the couple have not decided whether to bring it home or sell it in California.