Imagine getting your beloved, classic ride stolen. You have no theft coverage: It's gone, and you're screwed. More than six years pass, and your Chevrolet Impala convertible from 1958, the first year they were offered, is but a memory. Then a sheriff's detective calls:

Not only have cops found your bomba, but it has been restored to excellent, car-show worthy condition. In the words of a sheriff's statement:

When the vehicle was located during this operation and returned to him, he found that the suspect(s) had completely restored his vehicle from the frame up. The vehicle had been repainted, new upholstery added, etc. In essence, his vehicle was returned in better condition than before it was stolen.

A “frame-up” restoration is the ultimate refresh for a car, requiring the whole vehicle to be disassembled and involving upgrades for nearly every part. Such jobs can be so thorough that some purists have complained that the restorations are too good to be faithful to the way the car came from the factory.

In this case it appears the Impala was given a “resto-mod” job, meaning it's not reflective of its showroom state. Rather, it appears it was modified, customized and lowered.

And it's all for the legitimate owner to enjoy. Orale!

Credit: The Impala in question via the LASD.

Credit: The Impala in question via the LASD.

The recovery happened July 24 in the high desert community of Quartz Hill, according to the department.

Detectives served a search warrant at a location in the 4600 block of West M-12 believing there were three stolen cars there, deputies said. They impounded four, they said.

Among the classics found, all three had their vehicle identification numbers removed, according to the cops' statement.

Besides the Impala, stolen from Mission Hills in 2007, the cars included a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, taken from the Santa Monica area in May of 2011, and a 1960 Impala, taken from the Monrovia area in April of 2011, deputies said.

Credit: The Bel Air via the LASD.

Credit: The Bel Air via the LASD.

Credit: The other Impala via the LASD.

Credit: The other Impala via the LASD.

During that raid the alleged bad guy cops wanted wasn't found.

But on Wednesday, detectives said, they tracked down their man, identified as suspect 44-year-old Don Faison, who was arrested at his home in Quartz Hill.

He was and booked on suspicion of operating a chop shop, cops said. Faison was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, according to sheriff's inmate data.

He was due back in court Aug. 27. There was no word on how he would get there.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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