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It was 1994, and the campaign for independence in Bosnia still hadn't ended when Spomenka Jokic and her husband, Milos, decided they could use a break. So for a little outing, they piled into their Volkswagen Golf and drove from their hometown, Setic, over to Belgrade, capital of the remaining republics in Yugoslavia. They parked the car and went off in search of some fun. Alas, when they were ready to leave, the Golf was gone.
The couple reported the theft, but as months passed without it being recovered, they received compensation from their insurance company and went on with their lives. Until a few days ago, when there was a knock at the front door. A policeman stood there, asking, "Is this the Jokic residence?" He had news: A Golf matching the one in the stolen vehicle database had been found. "[We] thought it was a joke at first," Spomenka said. It wasn't. Officers had been conducting a roadside check and realized that at least one motorist was driving a hot car.
In fact, it had been swiped multiple times and the odometer had been turned back so that it no longer bore any relation to the number of miles driven. "But it's definitely our car," she told reporters, "and my husband says it still feels as good as it did 14 years ago." What about their insurance company, though? "Oh, they don't want it," she said. "It's not worth anything now."