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Port Perry couple warns others after custom 1968 Camaro stolen from garage

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WATCH ABOVE: Car thefts are rising not just in the big city, but in cottage country as well. One Port Perry man learned the hard way after his beloved classic car was stolen right from under his nose. Kayla McLean reports – May 27, 2022

Piece by piece, Jeff Shepard has been building his custom 1968 Camaro from the ground up.

“Five years it took me,” said the Port Perry man, standing in his garage. “Five years, every night, every Saturday, every Sunday — just building, buying parts and building it — no expense spared.”

He’s owned the classic car for 20 years, pouring at least $45,000 into it. But on Wednesday, May 25, what took him years of savings to build was gone in an instant.

Read more: Video appears to show suspect attempting to steal vehicle in Brampton with child in back seat

“Jeff was cutting the grass Wednesday night and he noticed the screen of the window [in the garage] was out and dropped on the ground,” said Jeff’s wife, Tania Shepard, recounting the story beside him. “So he immediately ran into the shop and noticed it was gone.”
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Thieves had broken into the garage in the middle of the night and stolen his prized ride.

“We think they pushed it,” said Jeff, pointing to the tire tracks still imprinted on his garage floor. “They had to have. It’s way too noisy for them to not wake me up or wake the neighbours up.”

The couple thinks it took about 10 minutes for the thieves to make off with their car.

“It was a very clean entry in and out, they didn’t take anything else, didn’t move anything, they closed the big door after they left so we didn’t know it was gone immediately,” Tania said.

Read more: Kingston, Ont. man crashes vehicle, then steals and crashes another

Tania told Global News they feel crushed and violated now that what they had hoped to pass down to generations in their family is gone.

“We’re just devastated,” said Tania. “This [car] was part of our family.”

“We don’t have kids, so these are our kids,” Jeff added. “You work all your life and somebody takes it? Not fair. Not fair at all.”

The robbery follows a rash of car thefts plaguing the GTA lately, many of them targeting higher-end vehicles. Jeff thinks he knows why his car was stolen.

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“The market for classic cars right now is absolutely crazy,” said Jeff. “The prices have skyrocketed. COVID has helped that … I really think [my car] is in a shipping container shipped to basically Dubai or something like that.”

Read more: Police investigate another Toronto carjacking, at least 3 incidents in 3 days

With the help of social media and the vehicle’s distinct black striped markings, the couple hopes someone will spot their beloved car and help them get it back into their garage.

“Someone has to see it somewhere if it’s not in a container out of the country,” said Tania. “We just want it back.”

Jeff says he has one final message for those in his area who may think car theft is a problem plaguing the GTA right now.

“Lock ’em up. Lock ’em up as hard as you can,” Jeff said, referring to cars. Tania added, “Get a GPS put in [your vehicle], just really watch [because] I feel like we were watched and targeted.”
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Port Perry man, Jeff Shepard warns others in his area to be vigilant after his custom 1968 Camaro was stolen right from underneath his nose. credit: Tania & Jeff Shepard
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Port Perry man, Jeff Shepard warns others in his area to be vigilant after his custom 1968 Camaro was stolen right from underneath his nose.
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Port Perry man, Jeff Shepard warns others in his area to be vigilant after his custom 1968 Camaro was stolen right from underneath his nose.
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Port Perry man, Jeff Shepard warns others in his area to be vigilant after his custom 1968 Camaro was stolen right from underneath his nose. credit: Jeff Shepard

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