Thief Steals Rare Ford GT40 Replica, Gets Caught Respraying It

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What works in Grand Theft Auto doesn't work in real life.

There’s a reason why the humble Honda Accord has been the most stolen car in America for five consecutive years: it’s inconspicuous. Because let’s face it, if you’re going to steal, say, a 1966 Ford GT40 replica with a bright yellow paintjob and parade it around the city, you’re going to get noticed. KCCI News reports that a thief stole the rare replica from the owner’s storage shed in Iowa, who was understandably distraught to discover that the "dream" car they had owned for 13 years was missing.

I just assumed I'd never see the car again," the owner, Steve Salasek told KCCI News. He contacted police, and the Marshalltown City Facebook page posted an alert asking residents to look out for the stolen car. Turns out this wasn’t the smartest car thief in the world. In a vain attempt to disguise the one-of-a-kind sports car, the thief crudely resprayed the yellow exterior in flat black, forgetting that a GT40 replica car isn’t a sight you see every day on the roads of Iowa, a small town populated with 27,000 residents who would instantly be able to identify it. You would think the smartest thing to do in the thief's situation would be to leave the town the car was stolen from.

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But what works in Grand Theft Auto doesn’t work in real life. Within a day of the post going out on Facebook, the thief was spotted cruising around town in the distinctive car and was promptly arrested. "It was a very unique car and I feel pretty comfortable saying it was probably the only car like this in Marshall County, maybe in the central Iowa area,” police chief Michael Tupper said.

If it hadn't been for the community's involvement and interest in this story, we probably would not have found the car.” The car was returned to Salasek, who wasn’t pleased to find the thief had tarnished the yellow exterior with an amateurish spray job. Remnants of the original yellow finish still remain on the car however, so there’s still hope that he will be able to restore it back to its former glory. "One way or another, it'll come back to life," Salasek said.

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