The owner of the Mustang is known only as “John R.,” according to the nearly 30-year-old police report. Records indicate there was another owner listed, but neither have working phone numbers, police told WDAF-TV.
The car had an estimated value of $17,000 at the time it was stolen. But the Missouri State Highway Patrol found the missing Mustang in poor condition, the news station says.
"It's in good condition for animals to live in, but not really for us to drive," Cpl. Nate Bradley told the station.
While police have been unable to locate its owner, officers told WDAF that they believe they know who stole the car. While too much time may have passed to file theft charges, the suspect could face a charge of fraud.
Bradley said the car appeared to have been retagged with a different VIN number so the suspect could drive it around hidden in plain sight. Its last safety inspection was performed in 2007.
"I think the guy was pretty clever," Bradley said. "I think he's probably -- if he watches this he's probably sipping some iced tea, thinking he got away with it for a long time.”
“But I'll catch him," Bradley said with confidence.