MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say a dead man’s vintage Corvette was stolen and towed away using a stolen truck.
Christopher Atkins, 34, is charged with two counts of theft of property and one count of aggravated burglary.
Police say back on October 5, a resident on Owen Road in Berclair saw someone at his deceased neighbor Fredrick Hardke’s home, stealing his 1976 Corvette. The car was loaded onto a trailer pulled by a Dodge Ram pickup.
“He liked his Corvette. He had a Ford Mustang before that. He had motorcycles and he liked fast vehicles,” said Hardke’s cousin Rick Tapio. “When it was stolen, we didn’t have high hopes to get it back.”
Last Friday, officers tracked the Corvette to a house in the 3300 block of Powell Avenue in Highland Heights. They say when they approached, they saw Atkins carrying a reciprocating saw. He fled into an abandoned house but was caught.
Police say he admitted to being in the truck as it pulled the Corvette on a trailer. The truck was stolen from Marshall County, Mississippi.
The Corvette was valued at $7,600 and the Dodge truck was valued at $18,665.
Hardke’s family is thankful to the officers for finding the Corvette and are now figuring out what to do with his belongings.
“It’s pretty remarkable they were able to not only find it but find it in one piece because I figured it would be all chopped up and you know headed out in 100 different directions,” Tapio said. “We are very grateful.”