PUYALLUP, Washington —
The battery was dead, the gas tank was empty and it’s covered in fingerprint powder, but other than that, a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is in excellent condition after being stolen from a Puyallup warehouse, along with a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, last week.
“I didn’t think I’d get any of them back, and I got both of them back, so I got to credit these guys, man,” said Gary Rucci, the cars’ owner.
“These guys” are detectives with the Automobile Crimes Enforcement Task Force. They work undercover, so KIRO 7 isn’t identifying them.
The alleged thefts happened sometime between 10 p.m. on August 8 and 9 a.m. on August 9, police said.
The team said it used information within the car-collecting community to put pressure on the alleged thieves that caused them to park the cars and walk away.
Tucci’s Chevelle was found earlier this week. The thieves tried to sell the Corvette to a buyer in Las Vegas, and even back to Tucci himself, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said.
But finding a buyer for a rare and unique car isn’t easy.
“Yeah, I guess…unless they put it on a container and shipped it overseas right away, but they didn’t do that,” Tucci said.
The Corvette is worth about $150,000, detectives said. It’s all-original, even after 47 years.
Tucci said getting it back in one piece is a relief.
“It’s not just the money, it’s that this thing is perfect and I don’t know that you can find one that’s in as good a shape as this,” he said.
Police haven’t yet arrested any suspects in the case.