An Oshawa man has been reunited with his 1987 Chevrolet Camaro after his vintage car was stolen. The alleged thieves took it from his home on Quebec Street over the weekend — in broad daylight.
“I’ve never, ever felt that feeling before,” said Camaro owner Joseph Desroches.
“When I saw the garage door open and the car was gone, I didn’t know what to do. I was in shock.”
Desroches had been working on the car for the past few years and had just started to enjoy driving it around. The car was recovered by police after a short pursuit on Saturday morning. During that chase, he says, they must have lost one of the t-roofs.
The most devastating part, though, is that his prized possession is in rough shape. “It won’t even turn over,” says Desroches.
“It won’t even start.”
Durham police say two men allegedly took the car on a joyride before they were spotted by officers near Bowmanville. Const. George Tudos says one man tried to make a run for it, and was apprehended shortly after. The other, police say, failed to stop, speeding away down the 401.
“That vehicle was driving at a high rate of speed. It entered the 401, but officers discontinued following that vehicle,” Tudos said.
It was just a short time later that police say the car was located in Oshawa. That’s where Chrystal Baker says she saw the driver of the Camaro get out, appearing to have trouble with his car. She captured video of the entire ordeal.
“We saw this really cool car come off the highway, but it was smoking,” says Baker.
In the video, she caught Joseph’s Camaro appearing to break down, smoke billowing from the car. It was when she saw what happened next, the Oshawa resident says, that she knew something was up.
“The gentlemen ran across the highway exit here, wearing no shirt, ran into the bush,” Baker claims. “That’s when I saw a police car rip around the corner with three others, too. Within minutes there were nine cruisers.”
That’s when they saw the driver they thought was in trouble having more than just car issues.
Neighbours tell Global News he hid underneath someone’s porch, after watching them take the garbage out.
“My sister didn’t even want to come outside,” says Tony Amarosa, whose sister lives in the area. “She looked out and saw police searching in her garage and everywhere.”
Following a short search in the neighbourhood, police found the alleged thief in a neighbour’s backyard.
“He was found hiding under a porch,” Tudos says. “The K-9 unit was able to apprehend that male and he was taken into custody.”
Joseph says he’s thankful to have the car back. But with major damage to the car, he’ll now have to wait until next summer before he can get back on the road.