30 Year-old Stolen Automobile Spotted In $15 Million Mansion’s Yard

Cops in Northern California are unearthing a lost convertible 30 years after it was reported stolen—from the backyard of a $15 million home constructed by a guy with a record of homicide, attempted homicide, and insurance fraud.

Atherton Mayor Rick DeGolia, speaking from a police statement, claimed that landscapers in the wealthy Silicon Valley town spotted the convertible Mercedes-Benz on Thursday, stuffed with bags of wasted concrete.

30 Year-old Stolen Automobile Spotted In $15 Million Mansion's Yard
30 Year-old Stolen Automobile Spotted In $15 Million Mansion’s Yard

There were no human remains recovered until specialists from the San Mateo County Crime Lab started excavating the vehicle 24 hours after cadaver dogs had alerted them to their presence, according to DeGolia.

Law enforcement officials believe that the vehicle was buried in the backyard four or five feet deep in the 1990s, long before the present owners moved there. He said that the automobile had been reported stolen from neighboring Palo Alto in September 1992.

Technicians had dug out the convertible’s passenger side (where the top was still down) by Friday. As a bonus, when they opened the trunk they discovered more cement sacks that had been forgotten about. After “making a little notification of probable human remains,” as DeGolia put it, cadaver dogs were brought back to the home.

Atherton police captain Daniel Larsen speculated that the dogs’ reactions may be caused by human remains, old bones, blood, vomit, or any combination of these things.

He said that the presumed dead owner of the vehicle was still being looked for in DMV databases.

Larsen assured the audience that the present homeowners were not the subject of any inquiries.

Johnny Lew, whose daughter Jacq Searle told the San Francisco Chronicle that her father had constructed the large mansion complete with a pool and tennis court, had been arrested for murder, attempted murder, and insurance fraud.

The woman told police in Atherton that her father had passed away in 2015 in the state of Washington and that her family had resided at the property in the 1990s, when they think the automobile was buried.

Lew was convicted guilty of killing a 21-year-old woman in Los Angeles County in 1966. The Chronicle, citing court documents, said that he was freed from jail in 1968 when the California Supreme Court overturned his conviction on the grounds that the prosecution improperly included hearsay evidence.

Lew served three years in jail for a 1977 attempted murder conviction in Los Angeles County, according to court records.

Lew was jailed in the late 1990s for insurance fraud after he allegedly paid undercover police officers to sink a $1.2 million boat “out west of the Golden Gate Bridge into foreign seas,” as reported by The Chronicle.

Larsen refused to reveal whether or not Lew’s name was being investigated in connection with the car.

But we haven’t been able to corroborate via our sources that he really owned that car,” Larsen added, acknowledging that the name had been mentioned.

According to real estate listings online, the massive mansion and surrounding grounds are worth at least $15 million.

About 7,000 people call the almost 5 square mile area that is Atherton, California home. It is one of the richest communities in the United States.



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