The Ventura Odyssey

A month ago or so, there was quit a crime spree that hit Lenoir City. One vehicle was stolen at Walmart, another at a convenience store and the last one from Matlock Tire on Hwy 321. Through the investigation and video surveillance, it was determined that all three thefts were connected.

Through outstanding investigation by the Lenoir City Police Department, the crimes were solved and perpetrators nabbed. But the story is even a little better than that.

As stated above, the last vehicle stolen was from Matlocks. It was actually Jimmy Matlock's 1976 Pontiac Ventura that he bought and drove while still in high school that he has managed to hang on to all these years.

As the investigation continued, it was doubtful Jimmy's old car would ever be found. Likely already sold for scrap. But not so fast.

Back to the LCPD investigators. As the case evolved, one suspect was identified that lead to another suspect that led to a third suspect till all the perpetrators were in custody. The primary suspect was found in Tipton Georgia. Investigators traveled to Tipton where they interviewed the suspect who admitted to the crimes. When asked where Matlock's Pontiac might be he said he sold it to his cousin Buba. (Names changed to protect the innocent). So he called Buba and asked him what he did with the car. Buba said he sold it to his friend Leroy. So they called Leroy and asked him what he did with the car and Leroy said, nothing. he was driving it. So Leroy brought the car back to the police station.

Thanks to LCPD, Matlock and his high school dream car have now been happily reunited back here in Lenoir City.

If that was all there was, that would be a pretty interesting story, but this isn't the first time the old Ventura was saved from a certain fate.

A few years ago, Jimmy loaned the same car to a friend, who was down on his luck, to drive till he could make other arrangements. Some time later, someone told Jimmy they saw his car on the back of a used car lot. Come to find out, the friend took the Pontiac (with no title) to a used car lot and traded in for another car.

After making a lot of calls, Jimmy found his car at a local scrap yard just minutes from the crusher.

Not sure what it is between Jimmy and his Pontiac but it must be magical.