The 1985 288 GTO was recovered on Tuesday, May 14, Dusseldorf police announced. The Ferrari was listed for $2.67 million (2.35 million euros).
The manager of the classic car company that owns the car told NRZ that the man stole the Ferrari after taking it on a test drive, calling it “a trick theft.”
The man had emailed and called the manager for weeks, asking questions about the vehicle, before arriving at 12:30 p.m. on Monday to test drive the car. An employee went on the test drive with the man but after the employee exited, the man sped off.
“Ferraris had dropped out, the alleged buyer took advantage of the situation, pressed on the gas, and disappeared with the sports car,” the Dusseldorf Police Department said in a statement.
The manager said that the car was insured and was confident that the perpetrator would be caught.
A witness saw the alleged thief drive the bright red Ferrari into a garage late Tuesday, according to WELT, and alerted the police. Officers rushed to the scene and secured the car, which was towed away and stashed in a secret location.
The car would be examined for fingerprints and other clues to the thief, a police spokeswoman said.
A listing for the vehicle on the dealer’s website says the Ferrari used to be owned by Eddie Irvine, a former Formula 1 driver, reported the BBC.
Irvine was a teammate of Michael Schumacher between 1996 and 1999 while driving for Ferrari.
Michael Schumacher’s Wife Makes Rare Statement
The wife of former racing driver Michael Schumacher released a rare statement ahead of his 50th birthday on Jan. 3.
Corinna Schumacher thanked fans and said the family was “doing everything humanly possible to help him” recover from a skiing accident he had in 2013.
The statement was made in a Facebook post and stressed maintaining the family’s privacy regarding the German driver’s health.
“Please understand if we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy. “At the same time we say thank you very much for your friendship and wish you a healthy and happy year 2019.”
The statement also announced the launch of a new app celebrating Schumacher’s racing achievements, the Official Michael Schumacher app.
“We are very happy to celebrate Michael’s 50th birthday tomorrow together with you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts that we can do this together,” Corinna wrote.
The driver suffered devastating head injuries after hitting his head on a rock while skiing in December 2013, splitting his helmet open. Medics said he had sustained blood clots to the brain but said he would almost certainly have died if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet.
Following several surgeries, he spent six months in a coma before waking up and being taken to a private location in Switzerland in April 2014.
The Facebook post is a rare public statement from Corinna, who commented just once before when Schumacher was released from the hospital. At that time she asked for support in “our joint fight alongside Michael,” but also stressed the need to respect the family’s privacy.
Formula 1 Managing Director Ross Brawn, who worked with Schumacher at Ferrari, told the BBC, “I am constantly in touch with Corinna and I totally agree with their decision. Michael has always been a very private person and that’s been a guiding principle in his career, his life. His family always agreed with that choice.”
Corinna has been married to Michael since 1995 and they have two children, Gina-Maria, 21, and Mick, 19.
Gina-Maria is a professional equestrian and Mick is a Formula 3 racing driver.
Epoch Times reporter John Smithies contributed to this report.