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Criminal mastermind steals Ferrari 288 GTO on test drive

Jalopnik logo Jalopnik 2019-05-15 Bradley Brownell
a red car parked on the side of a road© Image: Mecum

Police in Duesseldorf, Germany are on the lookout for the mastermind behind an intricately designed Danny Ocean-style heist of epic proportions orchestrated on Monday, according to the Associated Press. This person may be the smartest and most organized thief in history, as the many pieces of this puzzle needed to fall delicately into place in order for him to make off with the car.

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You see, the thief posed as a buyer for the rare turbocharged Ferrari Gran Turismo Omologato model. The car, valued at more than 2 million euros, had been advertised for sale, and he responded to the ad with interest, and organized to test drive the car.

When the thief and the seller went on a test drive, they both got out of the car to switch places. It was at that point the genius thief got into the very fast 1980s icon and sped off without the seller.

The car is alleged to have once belonged to Formula One racer Eddie Irvine, according to The Sun, though is now owned by a German millionaire. The car was on consignment at a vintage car sales house in Neuss, Germany just outside of Duesseldorf. A representative of the company was left high and dry when the booster drove off.

The dealership says the thief arrived to give the car a once over around mid-day, and he had a French accent.

Only 272 examples of the mid-engine Ferrari supercar were ever sold, so it’s unlikely that one would go unnoticed if it came up for sale somewhere else. Similarly, any parts of this car that come up for sale will likely be noticed by the 288 GTO community of owners.

I hate to be the pessimist here, but this thief seems like the smartest thief to ever thieve. I don’t hold out any hope of this car ever being recovered.

Maybe, just maybe, if you’re going to take someone for a test drive in a two million euro car, do some kind of vetting beforehand, or don’t get out of the car.

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