Grapevine: Ecclestone Loses his Wheels

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone fell foul to thieves outside his house in London, England, who managed to take the wheels off his day-old fancy Mercedes car, despite advanced security system in place

Grapevine: Ecclestone Loses his Wheels

Ecclestone received on Friday his brand new Mercedes CLS55 AMG V8 - one of only 50 in the UK. But only a day later he woke up to find that thieves had managed to take off two of the wheels, each worth £500 GBP ($935 USD), without being noticed by anyone in the area. The thieves were caught on camera, on Ecclestone's closed circuit TV.

"It's a real nuisance," Ecclestone told The Daily Telegraph. "It was only the first night I had the car. They probably think they can sell the wheels and make some money, but they probably can't."

The wheels stolen are unique to the CLS55, and with only a few dozen machines on the market, the thieves could well find themselves with a worthless artifact. Still, according to a Mercedes spokesman, the theft should not have been made as easy as that.

"All our wheels have locking wheel bolts so you would either need the key or some kind of thief's tool," the spokesman told the newspaper. "The car's alarm has motion sensors, which would sound if it was being jacked up. It sounds for 30 seconds and then resets."

But Ecclestone said he had heard nothing before the security guard alerted him of the missing wheels at 8:30am on Saturday. The theft, according to the CCTV - which also recorded the registration plate of the thieves' getaway car - took place shortly before 5:00am.

Ecclestone was already a victim of similar theft some two years ago: back then, the Briton found his Mercedes standing on bricks and without wheels. But despite the incriminating evidence caught on camera this time around, Ecclestone said he would not make a report to the police.

"We will deal with it," he told the newspaper. "I can't remember the last time I saw a policeman round here."

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