Thieves steal vintage Corvette in 19 seconds while owner shopped in Sterling Heights

Corvette stolen from Walmart parking lot

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Thieves needed just 19 seconds to steal a man's vintage Corvette while he was shopping in the middle of the day in Sterling Heights, officials said.

The incident happened Aug. 25 outside a Walmart at 14 Mile and Van Dyke roads, according to authorities.

Security cameras show the sky blue 1977 Corvette being taken from a Walmart parking lot.

"I bought the car in April of 2009," said the owner, who asked not to be identified. "I've had a lot of work done to it. I've had it repainted. I don't drive it in the winter. I store it under a locked garage door."

He said he was in the Walmart for about an hour. During that time, a black Dodge Magnum pulled up behind the Corvette, video shows. Someone got out of the passenger side of the Magnum and got into the Corvette, officials said.

Within just 19 seconds, the thief started the Corvette and drove off, with the Magnum following behind, according to authorities.

"They must be pretty good at hotwiring cars, then," the owner said.

When he realized his car was gone, the owner called police.

"I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance because I was having an anxiety attack," he said. "I couldn't catch my breath."

Walmart security cameras captured the entire incident, but the car thieves aren't in custody.

"I want my car back," the owner said. "How would you feel if I came and took your car?"

The 1977 Corvette is valued at just over $20,000, officials said.

Police are hoping the public can help identify the culprits. Anyone with information is asked to call Sterling Heights police at 586-446-2800.

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