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Car thieves jack five classic cars from Loomis property

Owner hopes for return of his Impalas
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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John Ridge’s five 1962 Chevy Impalas were tucked away out of sight on his Loomis property – or so he thought. Detectives are now investigating the disapperance of the five vehicles, their wheels – which were locked away in a separate shed - tools and other items totaling about $16,000 in value from Ridge’s property. Ridge, who lives in Rancho Cordova, said he kept the cars on the 17-acre property his father previously owned on the 5000 block of Citrus Colony Road. He said they were not visible from the road and locked behind a gate. “They were pretty well secluded,” Ridge said. “It had to be somebody who specifically knew they were back there.” Ridge said he suspects someone took the vehicles between June 7 and June 21. He discovered the theft when he and his wife drove up to the area so he could work on the vehicles. He said he was also planning to sell one of them. He said the gate lock was broken as were locks on several outbuildings. Five of the six vehicles were gone. The sixth Impala was moved out of position. In addition to the cars, thieves took a motor, a few transmissions, spare parts including extra hoods and fenders and a variety of items Ridge had collected over the past 25 years and housed on the Loomis property. “Some of that stuff has been there for 20 or so years and nobody ever bothered it and all of a sudden it’s gone,” Ridge said. Three of the five vehicles were registered as non-operational, which means they cannot be driven or towed on the freeways. The remaining two vehicles were “parts cars” and not registered, Ridge said. “It took some major planning,” Ridge said. “It wasn’t just drive in and leave with the stuff. They had to haul away five different cars.” He said he’s always admired Impalas and restoring them is a hobby. A few years ago he showed one off in Auburn’s annual Cruise Nite event. “When I was a kid I could never afford one so when I got older I started buying them and fixing them up,” Ridge said. “I’ve always liked the way they looked – they’ve always been my favorite car.” Ridge said he hopes he will recover the vehicles but remains cautiously optimistic. “I’d sure like to have them back,” Ridge said. “I was just now getting to the point where I could start working on them and now they’re gone. It would be nice to have the five of them back, but I don’t foresee that happening.” Anyone with information is asked to call the California Highway Patrol dispatch line at (916) 861-1300. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com or post a comment.