Man that thing is nice!
I wouldn't consider this hijacking at all because it illustrates that old machinery is useful and it might prevent someone from underselling (or worse scrapping!) an older valuable machine. With scrap metal prices being at an all time high right now there is a lot of machinery meeting this fate, hard to believe but it happens. We hear about classic cars being found stored and neglected and the same thing actually happens to very useful machinery and often this machinery gets junked because of an unwary owner, these kinds of machines are really useful to our hobby here and I truly hope that old Sheldon finds as good a home and gets the TLC that your lathe obviously has.