German Police Hunt Car Thief Who Stole Rare $3 Million Ferrari During Test Drive

Updated May 16, 2019 04:49:39

A red sports car in a car park>> Photo: The 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO is one of only 252 ever built, and is estimated to be worth over $3 million. (Supplied)

>Map: Germany

Police in the German city of Dusseldorf are hunting a car thief who took off with a rare Ferrari worth more than $3 million during a test drive.

Key points:

  • A prospective buyer took the car on a two-hour test drive with a salesman
  • When the salesman briefly stepped out, the thief hit the throttle and left him stranded
  • The rare car was later found in a garage 25km away, but the driver remains at large

Dusseldorf Police said the theft happened on Monday afternoon when a man posing as a prospective buyer of the 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO went on a two-hour test drive around the city with a salesman from an exotic car dealership.

After driving the car the suspect waited for the salesman to get out of the passenger seat before stepping on the throttle and taking off down a main road, leaving the salesman stranded.

This particular Ferrari 288 GTO, which had 43,000km on the clock, featured a 2.9L twin-turbo V8 that produced nearly 400hp, and was once owned by former Ferrari F1 driver Eddie Irvine.

A red sports car.>> Photo: It features a 2.8L twin-turbo V8 which produces 400hp, and has a top speed of over 300km/h. (Supplied)

A bald man wearing a sports coat and white shirt squats behind a vehicle.>> Photo: Police said the suspect is aged between 45 and 55 and spoke Spanish and broken English. (Supplied)

Police launched a multi-agency search for the car and appealed for witnesses to come forward if they had seen the vehicle — of which only 252 were ever made.

And they were in luck — by late Tuesday afternoon the Ferrari was located, found hidden in a garage in the town of Grevenbroich, about 25km southwest of Dusseldorf.

It was returned to the owner undamaged.

Dusseldorf Police told the ABC the suspect — who is still at large — spoke Spanish and broken English, is between 45 and 55 years old, was heavy-set and is about 176cm tall.

Topics: law-crime-and-justice, crime, motor-sports, germany

First posted May 16, 2019 02:25:51

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