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Stolen Maserati washes up

Wet and wild: A Maserati Quattroporte (similar to this one pictured) stolen from a South Melbourne car wash was recovered this afternoon.

Luxury car thieves pick up at car wash, dump at service station

General News logo19 Mar 2013

POLICE have denied thieves are using Melbourne as a proving ground for luxury vehicles after yet another $300,000 European sports car was stolen this week.

According to police, the silver 2012-model Maserati Quattroporte was taken from a car wash in City Road, South Melbourne, about 11am on Monday.

However, late today police said the vehicle was recovered from a Laverton North service station.

Thieves appear to be targeting luxury cars, although police denied that the number of incidents was a concern.

“We’ve had two press releases (relating to luxury car thefts) in two years, so I don’t think you can call that a spate,” a spokesman for Victoria Police said today.

However, the Italian sports car is one of a number of high-priced vehicles that have recently had unexpected excursions away from their owners.

Former society doctor Geoffrey Edelsten was hit in June last year when thieves made off with vehicles including a black and gold $750,000 Lamborghini Aventador, a $500,000 blue Mercedes-Benz SLS Gullwing, and his wife’s $100,000 BMW 335i while the couple were in Adelaide. All three were recovered within a week.

A month earlier in May, two men stole a rare Audi R8 V10 Spyder worth about $440,000 at knifepoint from a woman’s driveway as she was entering her Middle Park house.

Police were able to track the car to Port Melbourne via the woman’s phone, although the signal was lost after either the phone’s battery died or the thieves ditched the device. It has not been recovered.

In one of the most brazen thefts, in 2011 a Ferrari F430 Spider worth about $500,000 was stolen from Melbourne’s Crown Casino after a parking valet handed over the keys to the wrong car.

The Ferrari was recovered from a service station later that day after the thief ran out of fuel.

New South Wales recorded a 10 per cent jump in vehicle thefts in the last three months of last year, with more than 2700 reported stolen.

In August, a $400,000 black Porsche Panamera was stolen out of a Sydney garage, but was recovered four days later.

In contrast, Queensland recorded more than 2100 thefts -- a 23 per cent increase -- while Victoria’s statistics jumped 5 per cent to just over 2000.

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