A piece of one family's history is stolen. Now, the victims of a Chesterfield burglary are making a plea for the return of their classic car. The car was John O’Connell’s first. He spotted it while working as a caddy at Sunset Country Club. The year was 1973.
“One of the guys I caddied for on a regular basis, he had this car,” said John.
It was a 1965 light blue Ford Mustang and John loved it. So, when he turned 16, he bought it for $500. He would drive it through his high school days at Vianney, then college years at Mizzou.
“A lot of memories,” said John. “Drive-ins and what not, trips in the car.”
He also drove it on first dates with his wife of nearly 40 years. They drove it at their own wedding, and years later at their daughter’s wedding. Now, riding in it is still a family affair.
“We’ve got six grandkids and they enjoy riding in it now and then,” said John.
But last week, John and his wife returned from work to find the car gone. The keys were still safely stowed inside their home.
“It's an empty feeling. You've been violated, something so close to our family to be gone,” said John.
John estimates the car's now worth around $10,000. But to him, it's not about that.
“No… oh my gosh, no. I was never going to sell it for $10,000. I'm sure I would have passed it on to my kids when it was time,” he said.
So, he's hoping someone will spot the car that's seen him through so much, and bring it back.
“It turns heads when people see it going down the street all the time,” said John. “I guess there's still some hope out there.”
The car is also important to John's brother, who purchased it for a time, restored it, then sold it back to John. Chesterfield police are investigating the case.
Mary Jo Hartmann O’Connell wrote this on her Facebook and it’s been shared thousands of times.
Police say they’re following up on several leads, but do not have any suspects. Anyone with information should contact Chesterfield police at 636-537-3000.