Vehicle Crime Squad detectives have made the dreams of one lady come true following the recovery of her beloved pink 1973 Holden Torana, which was stolen back in 1992.
The investigation into a series of vehicles stolen for re-birthing was assigned to car enthusiast, Detective Senior Constable Brett Florence when he was attached to the Vehicle Crime Squad in 2014.
His tenacious and meticulous efforts have seen a re-birthing syndicate solved after several years.
Some of the stolen vehicles were modified and upgraded into high performance muscle cars by the syndicate who then sold them off as genuine.
One unsuspecting buyer purchased a number of cars from the syndicate between 2008 and 2011.
One of the vehicles he purchased was in fact the genuine Holden Torana GTR XU1 which had been stolen from then 46-year-old Carol.
In September 2016, a Parkville man aged in his 50s, was charged with making false documents, including perjury and deception offences in relation to the re-birthing syndicate.
During sentencing at court last month, the Parkville man was sentenced to two years imprisonment which was suspended for two years.
He was also ordered by the court to pay $560K in restitution to the victim who had unwittingly purchased the vehicles from him.
At the time Carol’s vehicle was stolen, the vehicle was not insured, and she longed to find the car and never gave up hope of it being located.
Carol who is now aged 74, used to rally drive the Holden Torana and was thrilled when Detective Senior Constable Florence called her and told her the news her car was coming home.
Yesterday’s reunion saw Carol and her beloved car, that she affectionally called ‘Sexy Lexy’, together again after 28 long years.
Detective Senior Constable Brett Florence said it was extremely satisfying to see Carol reunited with her vehicle.
“This car was stolen from Carol nearly three decades ago and I don’t think a day has gone by that she hasn’t wished for a miracle that it be found.” he said.
“Carol attended court every day dressed in pink to represent the love she has for her car.
“This was a complex investigation that saw a syndicate take advantage of a man who had a love for cars, so it’s also great to see him receive compensation for his losses.
“As a car enthusiast myself, I am very happy to see the smile on Carol’s face as we watch her drive off in her beloved Torana.
“It also makes the long hours put into complex investigations like this, worth it to get a result such as this one.”
Anyone who has information on vehicle re-birthing syndicates is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 .000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au