Car thief plays rough with ’57 Bel Air

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(American Dream Cars photo)

Des Moines, Iowa, police made quick work of a search for a stolen collector car, but not before the thief banged up an iconic piece of Chevrolet iron and damaged the collector car dealership where it had been for sale.

A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air was significantly damaged when it was driven through a garage door at American Dream Machines in Des Moine, then damaged again when it hit some parked cars.

Des Moine police arrested Louis Henderson Branch, 56, of Des Moines Tuesday after a brief search. He has been charge with driving while intoxicated, driving with a revoked license, first-degree theft, third-degree burglary and three counts of criminal mischief. He also faces more charges for allegedly giving police an incorrect name after being arrested.

According to a report in the Des Moines Register, Branch drove the car out of the American Dream Machines shortly before midnight Monday. Witnesses reported seeing large pieces of glass hanging from the car during the attempted get-away.

The vehicle was located in a parking lot at 3215 Grand Ave. Branch was taken into custody soon after, according to the Des Moines Register report.

Branch apparently kicked in the front door of the dealership to gain entry.

American Dream Machines occupies a 41,000 square foot historic Packard dealership that was built in 1929. The company specializes in American muscle cars. The dealership has about 50 cars listed for sale on its website: www.admcars.com.

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