Family says stolen ’68 Mustang represents decades of memories

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The owners of a 1968 Ford Mustang convertible are hoping somebody will give police the tip they need to track down the car and the burglars who stole it earlier this month.

Susan and Dennis Sharp say the partially-restored classic car was recently stored in Susan’s parents’ garage in the 4700 block of Tincher Road, near I-465 and Kentucky Avenue. The Mustang was just a couple months of work away from being roadworthy again.

“We just now were in a position to put some money into it,” Susan said.  “And we’ve put quite a bit of work into it already, it was almost done.”

On Feb. 16, the Sharps say somebody broke into the garage and made off with the Mustang and decades of family memories along with it.  The classic car has been in the family since the 1970s, they said.

“It’s heartbreaking; it’s almost like it’s a member of the family,” said Susan.  

Dennis bought the Mustang from his father years ago.  He can still remember his dad using the Mustang to take him on his paper route in the 1970s.

“I would never imagine it being gone,” he said.  “And for them to do that, I just don’t understand where they’re coming from.  They have no empathy for anything in life if they’re doing something like this.”

Indianapolis Metropolitan police are still investigating the case.  Susan suspects the burglars were someone who knew the Mustang was in the garage, and likely knew her parents were out of town for the winter.  She believes the burglars broke into a pickup truck in her parents’ driveway and used the garage door opener to get inside.  The pickup truck and several items from the home were also stolen.

“They took my wedding dress,” Susan said.  “I had it preserved in a box, you know how they do.  And they took that.  They took soaps from the bathroom, shampoos from the bathroom, food from the refrigerator.”

Susan also said whoever stole the Mustang must have been prepared to tow it away, because it was not drivable yet.

“The engine was in it, but the transmission was not,” Susan said.  “The transmission was on the floor over here.  And they took all the parts.  We had all the parts off of the car because we had just finished the body work.”

After discovering the burglary, the Sharps say they started asking neighbors if they saw anything suspicious.  They say three different neighbors reported seeing two men appearing to do yard work in the back yard on the day of the burglary.  Now they think the men doing “yard work” were serving as lookouts or a cover for the crime.

“They thought it odd at first, but then they didn’t think anything of it,” Susan said.  “They figured my parents may have hired someone to clean the house or clean the yard up.”

The Sharps say they haven’t heard any updates on the investigation from police.  They hope sharing their story will help generate tips for investigators.  Susan hopes somebody will recognize the car somewhere and contact IMPD.  She also hopes the car is still in one piece and not being scrapped for parts.

“That would kill me,” Susan said.  “I mean I would almost feel better if somebody put the money in it and finished it and somebody got to enjoy that car.  Even if it’s a thief.”

Anyone with information on this case can contact IMPD or Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

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