Every car owner’s worst fear is stepping outside only to realize their vehicle has been stolen. Not only is it costly to replace a missing car, but it leaves them without a source of transportation. On top of that, for many folks, their cars carry a certain sentimental value.

Such was the case for one Porsche owner in Oregon whose beautiful and valuable vehicle was stolen 25 years ago. After so much time had passed, it really seemed like all hope was lost.

Yet the story didn’t end there. At it turned out, this elusive Porsche wasn’t really lost…

On January 20, 1991, the police department of Jackson County, Oregon, received a call about a crime that initially didn’t seem all that uncommon: someone wanted to report that their car had been stolen outside Southside Cinema in Medford, about 27 miles from the California border.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

It wasn’t just any car, though: it was a Porsche 924. This was a particularly special vehicle, because when it was first manufactured in 1976, it was the iconic German car company’s first product to offer a fully automatic transmission.

As for the one stolen outside that Oregon movie theater in 1991, police weren’t sure if they would ever find it. Time passed, and the car remained missing for more than two decades. Then, authorities received a very interesting phone call…

BKP / Wikimedia Commons

On November 28, 2017, nearly 26 years after the car was stolen, Jackson County police received a tip from a caller who reported seeing something strange on a rural trail while walking his dog.

Bill Johnson / Wikimedia Commons

The man was reportedly strolling through the woods near Crater Lake National Park when he spotted an overturned car. Soon enough, the police rushed to the location to examine the potential crime scene.

Markgorzynski / Wikimedia Commons

It looked like the car had been lying on the hillside for a long time. Whose car was it? And how had it gotten there? Upon further investigation, police confirmed that it was the same Porsche that was stolen 27 years prior! So what happened to it?

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

There was little way of knowing how long the car had been in the woods. Police confirmed that the car’s registration expired the same year it was stolen, way back in 1991. So, was it simply abandoned after the crime was committed? Or was something darker afoot?

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

Police then discovered something horrifying by the scene of the accident: bones. Thankfully, forensics teams were able to confirm the bones came from a deer, and not a human.

Rick Forgo / Unsplash

“The vehicle’s location on steep, muddy terrain presents logistical and environmental concerns for removal,” read a November 2017 statement from the sheriff’s department. “Officials are working to determine the best course of action.” And so the mystery continued…

Believe it or not, this wasn’t the first time people found long-lost sports cars decades later. In 1978, a group of children in Los Angeles, California, stumbled upon a car buried in their yard while playing outside their home.


In that case, an excavation revealed that it was a 1974 Dino 246 GTS—a car manufactured by Ferrari. Somehow, the sports car had ended up buried in the front yard. Talk about strange!


Thankfully, police tracked down the owner. He was a plumber from Alhambra, California, named Rosendo Cruz, and he originally purchased the car as a birthday gift to his wife. It was stolen on December 7, 1974. Who knows how long it was underground…

Mr. Choppers / Wikimedia Commons

Of course, this car would be worth roughly $70,000 today! Police never figured out who’d stolen the Dino 246 GTS or why it was buried. Neither the neighbors nor the current tenants could recall any suspicious activity, either. And that wasn’t the only sports car with a mysterious backstory…

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The East Coast has had its fair share of sports cars popping up in strange places, too. Once, a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette was stolen from Manhattan’s Alan Poster; he didn’t have insurance and he suffered financially. Then, in 2006—almost 37 years later—it was found all the way in Long Beach, California.

Anthony Quintano / Wikimedia Commons

Eventually, Alan, by then a successful Northern California businessman, was tracked down by authorities. The car still belonged to him since he hadn’t filed an insurance claim on it, and he couldn’t be happier to finally have his special Corvette back.


These kinds of bizarre sports car discoveries aren’t limited to the United States, either. In August 2017, about 100 miles east of Paris in the town of Châlons-en-Champagne, police retrieved a Peugot 104 in a local pond. What was its deal?

Vassil / Wikimedia Commons

After being towed to a nearby garage, local mechanic Franck Ménard was surprised by how good it still looked. “It still looks like a 104,” he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “The paintwork is still blue and there’s still chrome on the bumpers.”

The Telegraph

Amazingly, the car had been missing for nearly four decades after initially being reported as stolen in 1979. The original owner was even located by the police, although by that point it was officially owned by her insurer. Still, she took it for one nostalgic drive anyway.

The Telegraph

Finally, in Frankfurt, Germany in 2017, a man’s car was found 20 years after it went missing. It was located in the garage of a building that was scheduled to be demolished; someone reported it to authorities when they thought it was in the way of the demolition.

Arne Hückelheim / Wikimedia Commons

Interestingly, while the police did eventually trace this car back to its owner, now 76 years old, there was no evidence of a crime. He simply forgot where he parked! Yet the owner was happy to reunite with it before it was turned into scrap metal.

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If it seems like nothing like this could ever happen to you, just remember that these incidents aren’t all that rare. It just goes to show that no case is ever worth giving up on completely!

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