Every week, 140 cars are stolen in Colorado and they usually don’t make the news.
But a vehicle theft in Parker is different.
Police need your help to recover a vehicle that’s not only transportation--but a part of America’s collective history.
Malachi Springer had pulled into a parking spot at the Parker Walmart to go to work Saturday. But his prized vehicle was gone by Sunday morning.
He spent years restoring the 1942 Ford WWII Jeep.
“I had a personal connection to it, with all the years of work I put into it,” he says.
The space where he parked his jeep in the garage is now empty.
The restored vehicle exists for him now just in pictures.
And it was more than just transportation.
“Driving it around was my way to keep the education going. Showing people these do still exist. I kind of became a living museum,“ says the 26-year-old.
But thieves shut down that figurative museum Sunday.
“It does appear there are multiple suspects. But at this point we have no additional leads or information, so we’re asking the public’s help,” says Sherry Corcoran, Parker Police spokesperson.
They are counting on someone recognizing the suspects caught on surveillance video.
There appears to be three suspects--two younger men and a younger woman. It looks like one man is wearing a light blue baseball cap with a dark bill black t-shirt with white design and dark pants. The other man appears to be wearing a beige jacket and baggy jeans too. The woman has long, light brown hair, a dark jacket, blue jeans and a shirt with a red and black design.
And some of them may have left in this silver truck.
Watching old television shows and movies as a kid sparked Springer’s interest in the 1940’s.
“Here’s the uniform I have,” he says showing a WWII Army/Air Force service uniform he bought at an estate sale.
He wears the vintage, wool suit at car shows--and he styles his hair with old-fashioned Brylcreem.
“It brought back a memory for them. That’s what it’s all about, when a veteran would approach me at a show,” says Springer.
He’s a young man immersing himself in the old--hoping thieves don’t wipe out what he worked so hard to preserve.
“It’s a piece of history of these United States and a war that many of the veterans are passing away from. And to me it was showing them that people from my generation still care,” he says.
Springer has been scouring craigslist.com and eBay looking for his jeep.
It has words stenciled in white on it. “OD Honey” and “War Buggy” are on each side and “Max” is on the windshield.
He hopes to get his jeep back for the next car show the first Saturday of September.