An enthusiast Christmas story: Salinas, California resident Lynda Alsip bought a 1967 Ford Mustang in 1984 when she was 17 years old, having saved $800 after a summer of toil at a grocery store. She got a vanity plate that read "LYNDA67," for the year she was born, but she only got to enjoy the car for two years: in 1986, after a night out, someone stole it from her apartment complex. She hadn't seen it since.

Then a man – another Salinas resident – tried to register the car at the DMV this year. He said he bought it as a project car in 1991, yet the DMV couldn't find any record of it. The DMV office sent the case of the untraceable car to the California Highway Patrol, where Officer Christopher Menchen dug into the records, and his search paid off. The officer located Alsip's stolen record report from 1986 and connected the Mustang to it's registered owner in 1986, who was Alsip's mother. The CHP found the forest green Mustang in the man's garage, and they figure it's been there since 1991.

After waiting through the still-ongoing three-month investigation, the CHP reunited Alsip – now a wife and a mother of two – with her car on December 22. It's undriveable, but her original vanity plate is back on and she plans to restore it. The video above has the story.

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