Police have arrested a man suspected of stealing a 1966 Corvette Stingray from a warehouse in north Modesto last month, a department spokesman said Tuesday.
Sgt. Brian Findlen said Grant Dale, 46, of Modesto was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft and possession of a stolen vehicle. Dale was being held at Stanislaus County Jail on Tuesday afternoon, with bail set at $40,000.
The Corvette had four flat tires and no battery when it was stolen between May 21-24 from a Quonset hut in the 2700 block of Bangs Avenue.
Findlen said Dale stole the Corvette and tried to solicit buyers for the classic car, which the owner said is worth $100,000.
When none came forward, Dale sought a new avenue to profit from the theft, police said. Findlen said Dale learned that the owner, Dale Fitzpatrick, was offering a $7,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of his car.
Dale asked two acquaintances to pose as tipsters in hopes of collecting the reward money, Findlen said.
The Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force found the car abandoned along the 7000 block of Langworth Road, just south of Highway 108 and west of Oakdale. The car had been washed, the flat tires were fixed and a battery had been installed.
After that, authorities received numerous tips to Crime Stoppers. The two acquaintances, a 34-year-old Modesto woman and a 46-year-old Oakdale woman, called Fitzpatrick to collect the reward money. Findlen said Fitzpatrick didn't pay.
On Monday, Modesto police arrested Dale. Findlen said it will be up to the Stanislaus County district attorney's office to decide whether to file charges against the women, whose names were not released.