The Bear Republic’s “Bomber 15” remained missing Monday, with company officials stumped as to who had stolen the $25,000 custom-built classic race car.
“I’m just hoping it’s not already in pieces,” said Richard Norgrove Sr., the owner and founder of the longtime craft brewer, adding the car belonged to his son, Richard Norgrove Jr. “He raced it at various tracks around the area. He just had a new engine put in.”
The company published a wanted flier on social media on Friday and asked for help in tracking down the 1972 Chevrolet Camaro which was stolen over the July 4th weekend from behind the Bear Republic’s manufacturing plant in Cloverdale.
Norgrove said he and his son were both in Southern California on a business trip and didn’t discover the theft until they returned after the holiday weekend.
The car, which is painted blue and yellow with a red number 15 on the side, was on a trailer and was covered by a tarp. The sidewalls of the trailer’s black tires read “Good Beer” in white instead of “Goodyear.”
The theft, caught on the company’s surveillance cameras, occurred near dusk on July 5. Someone driving a 1978 Dodge Tioga motorhome pulled up behind the brewery’s manufacturing plant, hooked up to the trailer that was holding the car and then drove off.
“Our cameras show they came up to the lot and waited several hours until dark to drive away,” said Clay Grosskopf, the company’s marketing manager. “Somehow, they parked for hours where the cameras couldn’t see them.”
Cloverdale police and Grosskopf said there was no indication the thief or thieves knew anything about the company’s surveillance system. Or even what was under the tarp. The motorhome appeared to not have a front license plate and the back plate, if there was one, wasn’t visible once the trailer was hooked up.
The race car, one of several the Norgrove’s own, was valued at $25,000.
Authorities and company officials are asking anyone with information about the theft to contact Cloverdale police at 894-2150 or Bear Republic at its manufacturing offices at 894-2722.