Three classic convertibles were stolen from a parking lot over the weekend during the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association’s annual Autumn Get-Together at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California.
Impala owner Doug Watson told MyNetwork TV affiliate KRON4 that the theft of his car was particularly brazen since he uses a Club anti-theft device. “They had to cut the steering wheel to get that Club off and then hot-wire the car or break the ignition,” Watson told KRON. “I cannot believe that so many people sitting there—somebody had a car for sale across from us that people were looking at—didn’t see somebody do that.”
Watson says his father purchased the Impala new in 1963 and it served as his daily driver for years. Watson and his four siblings “grew up in that car,” and they each took it to their high school prom, as did Watson’s sons. The car obviously has sentimental value, especially since Watson’s parents died two years ago.
“It’s a sickening feeling,” Watson says of the theft. “[Goodguys] put on a great show. We had a great time… to come out and find your car gone, it’s so disheartening.”
Watson is offering a $2500 reward, and Goodguys is also contributing a $1000 reward for information leading to the cars and the arrest of the perpetrators. “All of us here at Goodguys are saddened and angered by the news…” Goodguys wrote on Facebook. “We are currently working with local law enforcement and are hoping that if anyone out there has any information on the whereabouts of these cars that they will reach out immediately to the Pleasanton Police Department at (925) 931-5100.”
The 1960 Porsche is owned by Army veteran Chris Nishamura, who told FOX affiliate KTVU2 that he bought the car for $2300 in 1972 and later had it fully restored; the car is now valued at more than $100,000. When Nishamura exited the Goodguys show and discovered a car parked in the spot where he’d parked the Porsche three hours earlier, his heart sank. “It’s a nightmare,” he said.
The owner of the stolen Mustang has not spoken to the media, and police have not released a photo of the car. However, Watson is likely speaking for all three vehicle owners when he says, “I just hope that somebody doesn’t see it as just a car to steal and be parted out and chopped up.”
Nishamura is also hoping that if his car isn’t recovered it is at least left intact. “If they’re going to sell it,” he said of the thieves, “sell it to someone who’s going to take care of it.”