A Long Island man was devastated after police confiscated his classic Ford Mustang that investigators said was reported stolen in 1980, decades before he bought the car.
Steven Merced of Holbrook, NY, told News 12 Long Island he purchased the 1966 Mustang in 2004 for $3,500. The man said he bought the car for his daughter’s 16th birthday and dropped $60,000 on the automobile to refurbish it.
"It was a gorgeous car," Merced recalled. "All I've got is pictures of it now."
The sports car was impounded by the Suffolk Police Auto Squad in September after a detective looked at the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) under the hood.
The Department of Motor Vehicles started digitizing VINS from stolen car-reports that go back decades. Merced’s Mustang was one of the cars stolen more than 30 years ago, in 1980, police said.
Merced said investigators have not told him where his prized car was located or how the probe was coming along after three months of being left in the air.
Merced said he was given $1,450 by his insurance company for the vehicle but he just wanted his classic sports car back.
A Suffolk County Police spokesperson told News 12 Long Island the car was at the Westhampton impound yard and the probe was continuing.
Merced threatened to take legal action if he did not get the classic car back.
"Something's got to be done about this," he said. "This is unfair."