Eager Car Thief’s Spray Paint Job Fails to Cover Up Crime

2 minute read

Looks can be deceiving — but maybe not that deceiving. In the case of a stolen 1966 Ford GT40 replica, the thief’s attempt to disguise the vehicle with a quick spray paint job in a matte black shade failed to fool onlookers, who noted the race car’s original color peeking through. The result? The thief was arrested and the car returned to its original owner.

According to local news, Steve Salasek of Marshalltown, Iowa found his distinctive classic car missing from his garage when he attempted to take it out last Tuesday. Luckily, local residents kept a sharp eye out and managed to spot it for police after noticing its original yellow paint beneath the black coat, according to police chief Michael Tupper. But beyond the tell-tale paint job, the car itself had a claim to fame in the area.

“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,” Tupper said. (An original 1968 GT40 sold for a whopping $11 million in Texas in 2012, setting a record for a U.S. car; even replicas like this one are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.)

Patrick Allen Chamberlain was arrested ultimately charged with theft — plus controlled substance possession and traffic offenses. It is unclear who performed the paint job.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com