Terrifyingly Comprehensive Car Thieves Forge Docs, Then Take Firebird

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Ever since the Great Beetle Recovery, we’ve been getting requests to run stories to help find stolen cars, and we try to, as much as we can. But this one about a lovely, stolen 1968 Firebird is different. Not just because of the striking car involved, but because of how the car wasn’t just physically stolen — it was stolen on paper before the car was even touched.

Anthony Monaco of Seattle has had the Avacado Green ‘68 Pontiac Firebird convertible since 1999. He bought the car for $13,000, and has put lots more into its restoration. It has the 400 engine, and is clearly a lovely, iconic muscle car. It even has the hood tach!

The crime actually two months before the car was physically stolen, when the thieves forged Monaco’s name on a lost title form, and had that form notarized. That form was used to get a new title, which was then used to “sell” the car for a maddening $600. All this means is that the car was no longer in Monaco’s name when it was stolen, which means the cops had to tell him that he wasn’t the owner of the car when he reported it stolen. That makes me a little queasy.


The car was in a locked garage at Monaco’s condo complex, behind two security gates. Whoever took the car was aware of the car’s electrical issues, as a battery was found in the car’s spot, presumably used to start the Firebird.

After review, the Department of Licensing has returned ownership — the paper kind, not the good, drive-around kind — to Monaco, so when the car is hopefully found, he should have no issues getting it re-registered. But first the car has to be found.

The good news is the car isn’t exactly common. Here’s some more detailed descriptions of the Firebird:

1968 Pontiac Firebird, Avocado Green with a 400 cubic inch RAM Air II motor. Power convertible top (switch under speedometer under dash), power windows, custom center console (cherry stained wood & black vinyl), hood nostrils, hood tachometer, after market chrome pedals, dual custom exhaust with no center muffler (originally had 3 mufflers), anti-sway bar in front suspension. Black vinyl interior, bucket front seats, 4 on the floor transmission, Hurst shifter


Anthony Monaco also added in an email:

The license plate has been changed since the thieves forged my signature and obtained a new title (twice) so the VIN 223678U154484 is the best way to track it. If they scrub the VIN, my ace in the hole is I had the engine rebuilt a few years ago and happened to note the block number: 9790071. They got me good and stole my dream car so anything I can do to help I’m more than happy to.


So, anyone around the Pacific Northwest, keep your eyes open for a nice green vintage Firebird. I’m pretty sure it’d have caught your eye anyway, but this time if you see it, maybe give a quick call to the police and let them know.

Also, don’t you forgers have better things to do? Don’t kids need fake IDs anymore?


Contact the author at jason@jalopnik.com.