Stolen El Camino update: Vehicle found in nearby parking lot

A missing 1979 Chevrolet El Camino that was reported stolen Thursday was found about 9 a.m. Sunday.

After a search that took John Conner as far as Shelton to look for a car that belonged to his late father, Conner found the car himself Sunday morning after he was encouraged by friends to narrow his search.

The car, a longtime labor of love valued at about $60,000, was taken from the garage of his father’s house in the 800 block of Coulter Drive, not far from North Thurston High School.

It was spotted Sunday by Conner at an apartment complex off Lilly Road, just on the other side of the Chehalis-Western Trail from his father’s house.

Conner said he was driving around when he saw the nose of the vehicle sticking out at the apartment complex. He called 911, and Olympia police arrived to verify that it was his car.

Conner had it towed because the steering column had been damaged. But that was the extent of the damage, which he estimated at $400 to $500, he said.