SPOKANE, Wash. -- A North Spokane businessman was reunited with a rare antique he thought he had lost forever - a vintage gas pump dating back to the 1940’s.
Justin Jochim owns the Paint My Hair Boutique with his wife. They restore and sell antiques but are also always looking for their own collectibles.
"The kind of craftsmanship that goes into old pieces you don't see anymore, and will probably never see it again," said Jochim.
So when Jochim found the decades-old gas pump, he had to buy it.
"We were talking about restoring it together, having a father and son project."
He left the pump outside the store, thinking no one would try to steal the 700 lbs. antique. But back in September, the pump disappeared.
"My wife showed up to work one day and said ‘have you sold your gas pump last night?’ and I was like, 'no I didn't,’” said Jochim. "A little piece of your heart and ambition went away for a few months."
In early December, a driver for the City of Spokane saw the pump on the street along his route. The driver happened to collect antiques and wanted to keep it for himself but later learned it was stolen and decided to call the original owner.
"I was kind of like, ‘are you kidding me?’ It's been three months," Jochim said.
Jochim has the vintage pump back at his store and is ready to restore it with his family.
"It's kind of a great Christmas present, you know, and it shows the honesty and integrity of some people you know that's still out there."