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Thieves steal man’s beloved car during his funeral

As if the loss of a loved one isn’t enough, the family of William Price returned home from his funeral to find his most cherished possession missing.

Price, 74, passed away in his home in Laurel Hill on Jan. 10. He was reared in the Lockhart community.

Family members said he had a passion for cars since he was 12, but his favorite was a cherry red 1966 Fairlane 500 XL convertible.

“He was always fixing up, painting and making cars faster,” his brother, Robert Price, said.

“He even owned a salvage yard.”

Price spent his years collecting cars and selling them, but he never sold his Fairlane.

“He had the car for 15 years and he would do anything for that thing,” Robert said.

“He built a barn specifically for the car to keep it out of the weather and even went outside to crank the car up every day. William loved to enter it into car shows. It was the car he kept over all of his other cars. That’s why it’s so special,” Robert said.

Robert said it had to have been someone close to him that stole the car.

“The day before the funeral I noticed the car had a flat tire,” Robert said.

“After I tried airing it up, I knew I needed to get it repaired so I jacked the car up and took the tire out from underneath it.”

The spare tire was locked in the trunk.

“I think someone must have had access to a key,” he said. “There were no tire tracks of a wrecker or anything that could pull it away from the barn.”

The funeral was at 11 a.m. Monday at the Evans Brown Funeral Home in Florala. The family returned from the funeral home at 2 p.m. to find that the car had been taken.

“It tears me up that someone would steal something that William loved and they did it while the man was being buried,” Robert said. “It’s incredibly disrespectful. All I know is the car will be found, it turns heads.”

The Walton County Sheriff’s Department is working the case.

If there has been a sighting of a red 1966 Fairline 500 XL convertible, please contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Department at 850-892-8186. For more information, contact Robert Price at 850-324-7474.