Stolen 1957 Chevy Takes the Long Road Home

CaliTruck1 copy II

When a vehicle is stolen and disappears into Mexico, there usually is little hope of a happy ending. So, when Bob Brown's unlocked and uninsured classic red 1957 Chevrolet pickup truck went missing three years ago during a grocery-shopping trip in Southern California, he didn't think he'd see it again. Then came the call this year from the Grover Beach police near San Diego saying his truck had been found. Brown was ecstatic.

Grover Beach officers arrested a known thief after he bragged on social media about a pickup he'd stolen as a Christmas present for himself; the post included a photo of the man with the shiny red classic Chevy. However, by the time the thief was arrested the truck already had been sold, disappearing into Mexico.

Enter the National Insurance Crime Bureau, where Special Agent Roger Hogan noticed the police report and put the Chevy's vehicle identification number and description into NICB's database. This summer, after seeing the truck in a Mexican salvage yard, an NICB foreign operations vendor checked the VIN and up popped Brown's name. Hogan contacted Brown to let him know his pickup had been found, and NICB worked with U.S. Customs to get it back.

Brown plans to do a full restoration of the truck; he estimates it will cost about $20,000 to bring it back to its original glory. This time it will be white, a color that is reported to be stolen less often than red.

The NICB is a not-for-profit agency dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft. It is supported by property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations.

NICB image/video




Great but sad story. Glad they found that beauty! Notice how it still runs after 3 years in junk yard? Small block chevy baby!! That will get you guys going!

Now this world is filled with way to many dead beats who take advantage of other people. I just can't imagine stealing something from someone else. Never raised that way. Brought up to earn what you have through hard work and dedication!

He got taken because he left a classic truck unlocked at the strip mall. Duh. Nice guy he seems, but that was not too smart. Going by the posts on putc that's your typical GM owner I guess.

He got taken because he left a classic truck unlocked at the strip mall. Duh.


Before you start talking about how smart you are (compared to the GM fans on PUTC, for example) you may want to assure that you've got your facts straight. Because you DON'T.

American cars back in the 40s, 50s and early 1960s were so easy to steal that it was like taking candy from a baby. Most people left their keys in the ignition or resting on the seat. Many people left their homes unlocked 24/7

It was a different time and place from how we live today.

Agree even if this truck was locked it would be easy to steal. No locking steering wheel and easy to hot wire. Glad he got it back, that would break my heart if it were me to have it stolen and not get it back.

It appears Al may have some of his facts straight. The description from the NCIB YouTube channel states he left the truck unlocked. Then he came back to it around 10-15 minutes later and it was gone.

The 1960s were great time, but not sure that means when you drive a 60s vehicle in 2018 you have to still leave your vehicle unlocked or the keys on the seat.

Besides Cali is a sanctuary state. Maybe if he just ran in for a minute he could leave it unlocked, but when you are going shopping is asking for trouble. If was asking for trouble he came to the right place.

Most theieves will only target unlocked cars or trucks. FYI.

@Gregory, Fred

Locked/unlocked does not matter. It makes no difference.

I thought I was clear. All you needed was a screwdriver and a pair of wire-cutters and a little practice. You're driving away in 60 seconds.

The only disincentive to auto theft in those days was the thought of five years, doing hard time. No color TV, no air conditioning, no GED classes. Lousy grub, hard bed, mean guards.

Car keys? Not so much.

Most people leave their keys in the ignition or resting on the seat and their homes unlocked

Posted by: papajim | Oct 11, 2018 4:40:47 PM

And most stolen cars are unlocked with the keys left in them.

Who would have thunk it?

To avoid being the victim, use some common sense precautions like locking your car!

Especially if you drive a big red classic car that screams steal me.

I thought I was clear. All you needed was a screwdriver and a pair of wire-cutters and a little practice. You're driving away in 60 seconds.

Build that wall.

I would leave it in the junk yard were it belongs why? because Garbage Motors make those truck and they only make junk. Nothing but junk.

What person would steal a truck for the own Christmas Gift? Takes a bottom barrel of society person.

Lots of excuses being made for not locking vehicles and for keeping your keys inside. Conduct yourself how you want. But if it's locked there is at least a 50% chance the thief walks away. GM trucks are very good targets because they are easy to steal and their owners are stupid. Parts are in high demand because something always needs fixing.

I certainly don't approve of vehicle theft, but if you are going to risk going to prison, do it for a sweet ride like a chevy truck. Can you imagine if you had stolen a Ford and went to jail. Your fellow inmates would be riding you so hard for such a stupid vehicle choice. They probable think you were gay.

I agree with papajim. Leave your doors unlocked guys! If someone is going to steal it, they're going to steal. With it unlocked at least your window won't be smashed. Good lookin out papajim.

That moron is building a wall when everyone is already using tunnels, smh.

Walls slow people down and keep them out. Not everyone uses tunnels. But remove your front door Frank. Cuz everyone uses tunnels.

No walls.
No bans.
No borders.
No nations.
Love thy neighbor.
Sactuary now.


Please do not blaspheme!

If you say love thy neighbor please do it sincerely, not as yet another one of your jokes or wisecracks.

What's the wall gonna do when everyone is using tunnels?


Have you ever dug a tunnel? Please tell us.

The Wall is suppose to be 30' High and go 30' down to bedrock.

Unlocked and uninsured? He deserved for it to be stolen!

He deserved for it to be stolen!


A sick point of view, in my opinion.

Does a child deserved to be kidnapped? Does a man deserve to be robbed? A woman to be assaulted?


I live ten minutes from the border. There's a huge river dividing Texas and Mexico. Its filled with water moccasins, snapping turtles and down near the mouth there are gators. On the US side there are already huge metal fences in place. If one gets passed all that, just about every rancher that owns land along side the river has armed personal security backing up the border patrol on their land. And illegals still get through only to end up dying on the 825,000 acre King Ranch. We live so high on the hog in this country that we have no clue how resolved desperate people can be. There needs to be something done about ILLEGALS but I have good reason to believe that a wall will be a waste of money.

The comments to this entry are closed.