This Dodge Challenger was stolen, used in police chases and recovered all in the week before its SEMA debut

A true-crime tale on display in Las Vegas

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Most of the drama in a SEMA build is in getting the car ready in time for the big show. That was all Quintin Bros Auto and Performance was expecting when they built a supercharged Dodge Challenger Scat Pack with custom carbon fiber body parts, aftermarket wheels and upgraded brakes. But unfortunately, a bigger drama happened in the week leading up to the show. And it was the worst kind.

As part owner Pete Quintin told us, the car was shipped out in a small trailer, and while the delivery driver was spending the Monday night a week before the show at a hotel, a thief showed up in a stolen pickup and made off with the trailer and the car. It wasn't an easy task, either, as the delivery driver had parked the trailer in with the truck blocking it. The thief used his own (well, not his own, but you know what we mean) truck to shove the trailer hitch out where he could access it, then hooked it up and took off. Several miles down the road, he parked, opened up the trailer and vanished in the Challenger.

The following morning, the delivery driver discovered the theft, and Quintin Bros immediately informed the owner so that a police report could be filed and a search could begin. The trailer was found not too long after, thanks to someone who was following the story on social media. But obviously the car was missing. Folks on social media were also helpful in tracking the car, in addition to the help of the Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD).

What followed was a week of chasing the car down. Twice the car was found in parking garages, Quintin said, and both discoveries resulted in police chases. The second chase was the most dramatic, with a police officer stopping after noticing the car. The thief was in it, and he bolted upon seeing the officer. He powered the Challenger right through the nose of the police car, damaging both. The chase culminated on the highway, where Quintin told us 14 cars were in pursuit, and the thief got up to 150 mph. Police ended up calling off the chase because of the danger. But the car was damaged enough that the thief eventually abandoned it at one last garage, where it was picked up on Thursday.

Once the car was recovered, things gradually began looking up for the Quintin family. Pete Quintin said that as soon as LVPD found out the Challenger was meant to go to SEMA, the department got the car out of evidence impound as fast as it could so the shop could show off the beat-up car. They even allowed some of the ephemera left by the thief to stay in the car to help tell the story. On top of that, on Tuesday, police announced that the suspected thief was caught after being involved in a shooting. So it appears that justice may be served soon.

Quintin said the car still fires up, and after it's spent its time at the ProCharger supercharger booth, they'll try to drive it in the parade at the end of the show. After that, Quintin Bros will begin fixing up the car for its owner.

Dodge Challenger Information

Dodge Challenger

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