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Courteous car thieves?

1966 Corvette Stingray found last week in better condition than when it was stolen.

A 1966 Corvette Stingray owned by a California man was found last week in better condition than when it was stolen.

According to the Modesto Bee, the owner Dale Fitzpatrick of Modesto reported that the car had been stolen sometime between May 21-24 from its storage shed. It had not been driven in five years and had four flat tires and no battery.

The car was recovered by the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force about a week later. It was found abandoned on a road east of Oakdale, Calif. after two women called a tip line and offered information on its whereabouts. The thieves had fixed the flats, put in a battery and had even washed the car. It was still warm from a recent drive.

"I thought they were going to find it with all the parts stripped," Fitzpatrick told Modesto Bee reporter Rosalio Ahumada. He valued the all-original Stingray at $100,000 because it is one of only 30 cars like it.

Fitzpatrick paid for a classified ad in The Bee offering a $7,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the car. The reward will not be paid, however, until it is determined if the women were involved in the theft.

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