Stolen car found on eBay after four decades of searching

Rashad Al Rubaie
16 July, 2012
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We have seen how social media networks can help reunite owners with their lost pets such as the famous Twitter lost dog story. However, it really is a surprise that Bob Russell managed to find his stolen car after 42 years, through an auction on eBay.

Bob Russell relied on his memory, keys and license registration of his stolen vehicle to help him track down his stolen car. With great luck and perseverance he finally found his beloved Austin Healey being auctioned online, with bidding having reached US$19,700.

Bob, who currently resides in Texas, had his car stolen back in 1970 after buying it for US$3000. He began his hunt through the web. “Ever since eBay showed up, I’d check it periodically,” he told the Dallas Morning News.

Luckily for Bob, he still owned the keys and the license registration for the Austin Healey to prove that he was the rightful owner. However, Los Angeles police couldn’t help Bob in getting the car returned to him, as it wasn’t listed as an active stolen car in their database. But after a lot of correspondence between Bob and the police, the car was impounded and Bob had to pay a small price of US$600 for it to be released.

The car’s not in the best condition at the moment, but Bob plans to repair the brakes and restore its original beauty.

The developing world of technology is helping a lot of people find lost or stolen personal valuables. They can even catch criminals through new services such as iCloud. We’ve previously reported how an iCloud user who had her iPhone stolen managed to track the thief by the photos they were taking on her phone. Because the iPhone was hooked up to Apple’s iCloud, photos taken with the device were being streamed to Katy McCaffrey’s account.

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