/ 18 July 2007

Determined thief steals stolen Porsche from cops

In what could have been a scene from car-heist movie Gone In 60 Seconds, a brazen Malaysian Porsche thief has struck again.

After crashing the car, worth more than $280 000, out of an auto showroom, then abandoning it when fuel ran out, the thief returned with a can of petrol and stole it again — this time from the police, reports said on Wednesday.

Police in northern Penang state found the Porsche 911 Targa 4 on Monday shortly after a well-dressed thief walked into the showroom with a chequebook, asked to test the engine, and then crashed the car through the showroom’s glass doors, newspapers reported.

Officers found the high-performance car abandoned 1,5km away after it reportedly ran out of fuel.

Police took the car back to their compound but, later on Monday, somebody cut the perimeter fence, snuck in, and re-fuelled the car, the New Straits Times reported.

The Porsche almost knocked down a police sentry as it made its getaway, avoiding roadblocks and several pursuing squad cars before the driver abandoned his prize about 10km away, the report said.

Penang police chief Koh Hong Sun said police did not rule out the same suspect being behind both thefts because they had the car keys, state Bernama news agency reported.

“We are investigating the case thoroughly, including whether it was to be smuggled overseas and how the car could be driven out from the … police district headquarters,” Koh said.

Two or three suspects were likely responsible, he said.

In the remake of Gone In 60 Seconds, Nicolas Cage plays a former car thief who has to steal 50 specific cars in one night for a gangland boss in order to save his brother’s life. — AFP