VERO BEACH, Fla. - A treasure coast veteran who survived a sniper's bullet in Iraq, fell victim to a car thief after returning to American soil. It was a 1965 Fast Back Ford Mustang that was stolen - and it meant everything to this wounded warrior.
Since December, former U.S. Army Sgt. Martin May could only see his prized possession in photographs. "It was like losing a family member," he said of his stolen vehicle. "That's the biggest thing. It's a void."
Police said the vehicle and a trailer were stolen from a Sebastian storage facility where May had the items stored. May had this car in his family since he was born.
"They said the car wasn't there and I said 'What do you mean it's not there?".
May had been planning to repair the rusted out relic as a form of therapy for his PTSD. May suffered injuries both inside and out; even surviving a sniper's bullet to the head while fighting in Ramadi, Iraq.
Sebastian police had been alerting authorities all over the Treasure Coast about the theft. But it was not until last week that it was revealed that car was not even in Florida.
Authorities say it turned up in York County, South Carolina. Investigators said, Frederick Charles Washburn, 50, was said to by pulling the Mustang on the same trailer that May had put it on years ago.
"He broke hearts and dreams just by him having an adrenaline rush," said May of the suspect.
Now, the vehicle is back where it should be - with the man who has cherished it for a lifetime. "I love it more now than I did before," said May. "You don't appreciate something as much until you lose it and try to get it back again."
Authorities in South Carolina said that Washburn was spotted driving a stolen pick-up truck hauling the stolen trailer with May's Mustang on top.