When the car's owner, Marshall County Supervisor Steve Salasek, reported on July 25 that it was missing, police and residents combed the town looking for the rare vehicle.
"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," Marshalltown police Chief Michael Tupper said.
Police say residents of this small Iowa town helped them track down a nearly one-of-a-kind yellow 1966 Ford GT40 replica car....but it wasn't yellow when they found it,
Just two days later, police were surprised to discover the alleged thief, Patrick Allen Chamberlin driving it around the very same town.
A 1966 Ford GT40 replica before (left) and after it was stolen in Marshalltown, Iowa on July, 25, 2017 and recovered by police in the same town. Multiple residents reported seeing Patrick Allen Chamberlin cruising in the vintage ride, which looked as if it had been hastily spraypainted black, leaving splotches of its original yellow peeking through the new color.
A stolen 1966 Ford GT40 replica's original yellow paint shows beneath black paint.
"If it hadn't been for the community's involvement and interest in this story, we probably would not have found the car," Tupper said.
Chamberlin was charged with theft, possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and several traffic offenses, police said. Salasek plans to restore the original paint job.