The search is on for a man who — acting at first like any other customer — stole a $75,000 Maserati from a car dealership in downtown Los Angeles last month.
The whole theft was caught on one of the dealership’s surveillance cameras.
Police say the thief asked the salesperson for the keys to the car so he could listen to the engine.
The salesperson for Motor Village LA handed them over, say police, and the suspect started the engine to the 2008 Maserati GranTurismo. While the salesperson stood there helplessly, the suspect took off through an open gate and drove away.
Michael Bell, general manager of Motor Village LA, told ABC affiliate KABC that the suspect seemed like a normal customer.
“The way he presented himself was small business owner up the street, his wife was going to come down and buy the car later,” said Bell. “This was after he had done a walk-around, looked in the trunk. He really was playing the buyer.”
Lt. Dominic Valencia of the Los Angeles Police Department‘s Taskforce for Regional Authotheft Prevention, or TRAP, said that they are confident that they can find the thief, but recovering the car might be difficult. The dealership told KABC it suspects the car has been smuggled overseas by now or chopped up for parts.
Earlier this week, another 2008 Maserati GranTurismo was stolen right in front of its owner in the middle of Times Square in New York City.
Police say that they don’t have any leads yet, but hope members of the public will be able to come forward with more information that might help them track down the thief and the high-priced car.