TACOMA, Wash. - A Tacoma man is extremely grateful after his stolen 1964 Studebaker Avanti was recovered.
The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force says tips from Q13 News viewers to Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County helped them locate the vehicle in Bremerton on Tuesday.
The rare classic car was a neighborhood landmark. For the last 15 years, it sat in Andrew Hubchen's yard in the 400 block of 95th St. S., on the border of Tacoma and Parkland.
"It's going straight in the garage," Hubchen said. "It's not going back in the front yard."
His dad purchased the vehicle in the early 70s and he remembers riding around in the back seat as a kid.
"I'm embarrassed I neglected it and allowed it to sit, but that's not going to happen anymore," he said. "It's a piece of the family."
Investigators took fingerprints Tuesday afternoon to help identify the thieves. No arrest has been made, but detectives say they are following up on leads.
Auburn Valley Towing returned the car to Hubchen’s home for free.
Nick Perious says it’s always nice to tow something special or unique like the Avanti. He hopes the gesture changes the perceptions some people have about tow truck companies.
"My guys especially, they're in the service field," he said. "They like to help people. That's why we do this at 3 a.m. when someone needs a tow, someone is broke down on the side of the road. That's what they do. So, this is just one of those goodwill gestures to kind of pay it forward."
Hubchen says he plans to fix up the car and is “psyched” about getting behind the wheel.
“The appreciation just can't stop," he said." I don’t have the words. The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force, the Tacoma City Police, the Pierce County Sheriffs and David Rose and John Q. Public who, in the end, got the tips that got my car back."