Antique red Corvette stolen from Oakland 80-year-old

An elderly man in Oakland is looking for whoever stole his antique red Corvette.

A group of thieves went to the home of Dave Lechthaler, near East 22nd St. and 5th Avenue, a few blocks from Lake Merritt on April 15 and broke into his garage.

Lechthaler, who turns 80 on Saturday, said the thieves stole his 1959 Corvette, robbing him of his pride and joy. He has owned the car for 18 years.

"It's like a stab in the heart," he said.

He fears that the suspects won't be held responsible.

"There are no consequences in this city. People can steal and rob," said Lechthaler.

Surveillance video showed two suspects breaking into his garage and stealing the Corvette in minutes.

Lechthaler has not seen his $200,000 car since then.

"It hurts because my life, my whole life, has been hot rod cars since I was 14 years old," he explained.

He is the ultimate car enthusiast and his home is full of photos from his racing days.

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Lechthaler gave the convertible all his love. He rebuilt the engine, repainted the car, and reupholstered it.

He thinks he could have been followed from a car show in Pleasanton.

The Corvette is insured, but he misses his vehicle.

He had this message for the thieves, "I want my car back."

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and