Police said Monday that they recovered a 106-year-old World War II veteran’s vintage Cadillac after thieves stole it from the man’s Sacramento garage last week.
The beloved car was dropped off Monday evening at police headquarters, but no arrests have been made in the case and the investigation is ongoing, according to Sacramento police.
The car’s owner Curly Bunfill, who earned three Purple Hearts during his service, has plenty of stories to share. But his favorite involves how he got the 1956 “Bermuda Blue” Cadillac Eldorado as a gift from actress Rita Hayworth, he told KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento.
Bunfill says, years after the war, he was working as a Hollywood stuntman when he met the silver screen idol at a party.
“Our eyes met and we danced,” he said. “She had all these cars, beautiful, beautiful cars. We danced around the cars.”
He said Hayworth asked which car he liked, and he pointed to the Cadillac.
“When she died, she willed it to me,” Bunfill said.
🚨🚨Update 🚨🚨🚨; the car has been safely located and is in SPD possession!! There is no one in custody at this time but this investigation is still active and ongoing. And a huge thank you for all the shares that helped to get the car back!! https://t.co/Z9A9Fpciyp
— Sacramento Police (@SacPolice) January 21, 2020
The car has Rita Hayworth’s name engraved on its doors, rear and engine block. He’s paraded the card with pride for more than 30 years, until thieves broke into his garage last week.
“Where I go, the car goes,” the veteran said. “People just love that car.”
And what’s more, he added, “When that car is gone, part of me is gone. I just feel terrible.”
Lester Welton, who owns a business near Bunfill’s home, noticed the classic car was missing when he dropped in to check on the 106-year-old, like he does several times a week.
“The garage was partly open,” Welton said. “I don’t know why somebody would do this to him.”
Welton put up a $7,000 reward for information leading to the car’s whereabouts.
Sacramento police also took to social media with a “special request” to “get a heroes beloved car back.”
Bunfill said he prayed police would find his Cadillac.
“It’s just a jewel for this country,” he said.
Police say it looks like someone dropped the car off at headquarters just before 5pm. There is no suspect in custody currently. Curly could not be more excited to come pick it up tomorrow! @FOX40 pic.twitter.com/Jq5QAZyRqq
— Jessica Mensch (@Jessmensch) January 21, 2020