STOLEN 81 FJ40 project southern New Jersey

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It's not clear whether my '81 FJ40 project (really two and a half 40s, depending on how you look at it) was scrapped by my relative out of spite (probable) or stolen from the yard (the story has changed at least twice). And I'm not going to get into that because either way, they're gone. They were in southern New Jersey, just off routes 40 and 55. These are the last pics I have of them which were taken on 12/11/2016. I discovered them missing on 03/02/2017.

The 40 with the top on it is the original '81 tub and body. Front doors are on it but I still have the ambulance doors. Original seats were in it, but not the steering column. The frame is a 1982 frame, near perfect, and the axles are also 1982. Real axle was rebuilt with a 4.11:1 diff, new Spartan locker. Front axle was rebuilt open 4.11:1 diff, with new rotors, all new bearings, gaskets, seals, rebuilt Aisin hubs ... Stock suspension had all new shackles, bushings, and pins. Tub had new rear sill welded in. Tub was original from cowl forward and the rear half of the tub was from another 40. VIN tag was still on tub/driver's door pillar. (And on driver's side, on the interior at the bottom of the windshield frame too - I discovered that after I recovered these trucks - just noting here in case anyone else ever needs to ID their VIN and can't get driver's door or hood open!) Contact me if you think you've seen the truck, I have the title but it was not transferred into my name. It was sitting on rusty white wagon wheels and 35s.

The other 40 (just the cowl forward, bare frame from cowl back) is the original 1981 frame, very rusty but probably repairable. The axles are stock and in need of a refresh. The VIN number on the frame will match the tub on the other truck (above). The 2F has a rebuilt cylinder head (all new valves, seals, springs, pushrods ... IIRC) and is (was) wearing an FJ40 Jim desmog kit. Turned flywheel, new clutch, pressure plate, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing, and rear main seal. An H42 trans and split case were bolted up, including shifters but no shift knobs. The 2F has headers (used) and new MAF smog pump idler pulley on it. It may still be wearing the power steering pump and all new belts. I'm not sure if I took them off and I just ... haven't wanted to check my parts stash to see if the power steering box went bye-bye too. The truck was sitting on rusty white wagon wheels and 31s - the Hercules Terra Tracs that were holding up the FJ60 axles before I sold the axles shown in one of the pics. I reinstalled the 31s to the 1981 FJ40 frame but the truck was still on jackstands ... which my relative/thief was kind enough to leave there, demonstrating that the truck was pulled right off the stands ...

I also had an extra frame from a 1979 40 (to the right of the FJ60 cowl that was going to scrap), rusty but repairable, and the VIN number was painted white to make it easier to see. I have that VIN so please touch base if you think you've seen the frame.

I think the trucks were crushed for scrap but in case parts turn up, I'd appreciate a text or call. You can reach me at 215 850 6331. Thanks for looking.
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JToobe

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Any update?
 
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No, I figure they're crushed. I avoid thinking about it too much ... just p*sses me off, and there's no point to that. What's done is done. Thinking of finding another frame and starting over since I have a complete '82 parts truck (no title, might be able to get one), frame is beyond saving, tub could be patched ... Eh. Thanks for asking tho. I appreciate it ...
 
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You are more mature than me....damn....SOB....I would be out of control.
Just behaving myself as best I can. The evening/next morning after it happened I was up at 2AM, again before 4, and again around 6, screaming obscenities. Now I just put it out of my mind as quickly as I can because anger like that leads to bad things ... It's just a couple of trucks. But thank you for weighing in. It really does help.
 
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Ha ha, I knew someone was going to ask that. OK ... So I do a lot of minitruck stuff and you know how it goes, someone buys parts from you, you buy parts from him, you become friends. Minitruck Mike knew my 40s and he works in the vicinity where they went missing. Wednesday he sent me a text saying he thinks he spotted my 40s but wasn't sure, and he sent me a link to the address. I was working Wednesday but buddy #2 (who wishes to remain nameless) gave me a ride down on his day off on Thursday. As we're getting closer, buddy #2 says, "I hope it isn't (name of Local Dirtbag here) ... and then, sure enough, LD has my trucks. I real quick run off to DMV and title my truck, which is what I shoulda done the day I bought it! Remember, it's really one truck - body on "new" frame and a spare cowl on the original frame, which is still carrying the engine, etc ...

With new title in hand I ask the cop at the DMV what to do since I want to avoid any kind of confrontation with LD. He says go see the cops in the town where my trucks are being held captive. I do so, and tell the cop at the front desk a short version of a long story. He says all the other cops are in a briefing, so I get to hang out in the police station for an hour waiting for them ... filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the Group W bench there, when the sergeant comes over and says "Kid!" Wait, that's a different story ...

Oh, uh, so then the officer who is going to handle it listens to the long version of my story, gets the details right (its a complicated story), and then he takes a ride out to LD's place ... But LD isn't home when cop pays LD a visit. Cop calls me and says get LD's number. I call Buddy #2 who does a quick search of his phone and comes up with LD's number. Cop calls LD, LD rolls over quickly because, Buddy #2 speculates, LD is on a short leash with the authorities ... His reputation isn't the best. LD requests that I pick up my 40s Sunday, which I'm not thrilled about because Thursday to Sunday is more than enough time for parts to "disappear," but I figure the cops have done all they can do at this point, so I go with it. Cop said LD was good with him, that it will probably go OK, so .... OK ...

Next step, I call Minitruck Mike. Minitruck Mike is also into Ford diesel pickups and he has another buddy who has two trailers, so all of us show up at LD's today, load 'em up, and move out! LD coughed up both trucks and all the parts, or substantially all the parts. I haven't found anything missing yet, save the extra, rusty but repairable frame that also went missing and a whole bunch of scrap metal. But I can live with those losses.

I'm going to write a thank you letter to the cop who helped me and to his captain. I gotta hand it to them, they went the extra mile. As did my buddies. I am grateful to them all. I offered to pay for the tow and all the help and the most they let me do was buy lunch. No joke. I have a core motor that I got from Minitruck Mike as partial payment on an engine he bought from me. I'm giving him the core motor back. That was all he'd accept ...

The woman at the DMV was really cool too. She lectured me about not titling the truck right away, but you know, that lecturing a mother gives a wayward boy who oughta know better. And I do (I left boyhood a loooong time ago ...) She was right and I told her so and appreciated her concern and friendliness. Lesson learned. So there you have it!
 
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....how did he come into possession? Your nefarious "family member? Did he just steal them? Did he have help? Details details details. Why didn't the cops lock him up? No behind the woodshed, come to Jesus meeting necessary?
 
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After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
us in the cell. Said, "Kid, I'm going to put you in the cell, I want your
wallet and your belt." And I said, "Obie, I can understand you wanting my
wallet so I don't have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
want my belt for?" And he said, "Kid, we don't want any hangings." I
said, "Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?"
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
toilet seat so I couldn't hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
out the toilet paper so I couldn't bend the bars, roll out the - roll the
toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It's a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
to the church, had a another Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat,
and didn't get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.
 
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And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty-seven eight-by-ten
color glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
the back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, "Kid, I want you to go and sit down on that bench that says 'Group W'... NOW, kid!!"
 
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....how did he come into possession? Your nefarious "family member? Did he just steal them? Did he have help? Details details details. Why didn't the cops lock him up? No behind the woodshed, come to Jesus meeting necessary?

Remember, I had not titled my 81 FJ40. So as a legal matter, it was not really stolen from me. My Family Member sold it without any right to do so, but LD didn't necessarily know that ... Necessarily being the operative word. And I would have been in deep doo-doo if I reported a vehicle stolen that, as a legal matter, wasn't mine. See? So I was the dumba$$ for not titling it. FM's behavior was deplorable, but in my judgment, excusable ... for reasons that I am going to keep private, except to say that FM is not "nefarious".

So, LD took possession from FM. LD was vague about the circumstances surrounding his taking possession. From what I have pieced together, it appears he paid FM $80 (yes, $80) for my rigs. Yeah. That's why he's known as LD. I suspect he is on probation or something, because he was most cooperative with me. Had it been under different circumstances, I would have thought him a decent enough guy. But the important things are that I got my 40s back, no one got arrested or hurt, and now we can all enjoy the rest of our Sunday. I'm just old enough now to recognize that as a win-win ... And to be damn happy about it.
 
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And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty-seven eight-by-ten
color glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
the back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, "Kid, I want you to go and sit down on that bench that says 'Group W'... NOW, kid!!"
"Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope under that garbage ..." LOL! Splangy, if you permit me, I'm going to buy you a beer the next time I'm up for the Fall Gathering ...
 
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"Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope under that garbage ..." LOL! Splangy, if you permit me, I'm going to buy you a beer the next time I'm up for the Fall Gathering ...

No my friend, I owe you the beer for making my day with the Arlo reference!
 
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First I am glad you got this stuff back. Second, I've been a LEO for almost thirty years (damn I'm getting old) and this type of thing is not that out of the ordinary. Ive seen a good bit of shenanigans like this. Glad the local police were able to help you out. There are some good ones out there too. Just going by GA law a case could be made on both of them but it wouldn't be a cut and dried matter.
 
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First I am glad you got this stuff back. Second, I've been a LEO for almost thirty years (damn I'm getting old) and this type of thing is not that out of the ordinary. Ive seen a good bit of shenanigans like this. Glad the local police were able to help you out. There are some good ones out there too. Just going by GA law a case could be made on both of them but it wouldn't be a cut and dried matter.
Yes, the police did right by me and I appreciate it. As for a case, I'm exercising my discretion against pursuing the matter. Thanks for the kind words!
 

Shark56

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Glad you got them back man!
 

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