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Stolen mustang found, returned to DPS trooper years later

Posted at 11:36 PM, Dec 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 01:40:33-05

Jared Schmidt got his dream car his freshman year of high school. However, his 1965 Ford Mustang has certainly seen better days.

"It was completely painted orange so that was rough. It took me all summer to sand it down," Schmidt said.

During his junior year of high school, Schmidt's car was stolen. 

"I went outside, and in between the time my dad leaves for work at four in the morning, to when I get up for school at 6:30 — gone," said Schmidt.

A police report was filed. But Schmidt gave up all hope of ever seeing his car again.  

"I was mad; upset — tons of emotions going through my head," said Schmidt. "It's even worse when you have a vehicle that you put so much work into it, so much time into it, and then it's gone and you don't know if it's ever coming back."

But four years later, Schmidt was reunited with his beloved car. A DPS trooper found it abandoned in Black Canyon City.

"It had been sitting on somebody's property for almost 2 years," he said. 

Schmidt said the property owner had no idea how it got onto his lot. 

Now, as a DPS trooper himself, Schmidt is used to helping others find their stolen property. So, when a fellow trooper found his car, it all came full circle for him.

"When something is so valuable to somebody, where you can give that back to them...that's kinda cool," said Schmidt.

However, his car was pretty banged up. Schmidt said the front and rear were smashed, the interior was cut up and the panels on the side had been damaged.

His family had been storing it for the last six years and he's been slowly bringing it back to its original condition.

"At that point, I started fresh again," said Schmidt. "More money spent to do it, getting it prepped to paint, painting it again."

Just last week Schmidt had finished enough to where he could finally pull his car back up his driveway. Finally, after 13 years, his car was back home.

"It's taken longer than most to get it back here and work on it," Schmidt said. 

Although it's still not ready to hit the road, Schmidt said he hopes he can strike the pavement in it again soon.

"She's been through a lot, so I'd love to get her back on the road and in good condition," said Schmidt.