A 98-year-old man has been reunited with his rare vintage car, a classic Ford Model A truck, after it was stolen during a recent home burglary.
The San Luis Obispo County Auto Theft Task Force (SLOCATT) followed a lead to a street in Nipomo. It’s where they found the stolen vehicle and a suspect.
Members of the California Highway Patrol and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office make up SLOCATT. They investigate car thefts in depth, following leads in hopes of recovering missing vehicles.
In this case, a report was filed on February 6.
Just two days later, investigators found the car on Mads Place in Nipomo and arrested Gasper Gonzales.
Investigators say Gonzales listed the car for sale, which lead the SLOCATT team to him, but officers say they don’t always get so lucky.
They say the majority of stolen vehicles are never seen again or they are found stripped of their parts.
However, this particular truck was easy to recognize.
“How many cars like that are rolling around? Not that many,” said Officer Mike Poelking, California Highway Patrol spokesperson. “It’s a great feeling if you are able to get the vehicle recovered in one piece and then get it back to the victims. In this case, the elderly gentleman who has had the car in his family for all those years.”
The man has reportedly owned the car for more than 40 years. His family said they are happy to have the truck back.
Gonzales faces a charge of possession of a stolen vehicle.