By PATRICK GOWER
Thieves who dumped a $210,000 BMW but kept the keys have left the owner and the police unable to crack the high-tech security system to get inside the car.
The new BMW 7 Series - one of only 20 in the country - was taken from the Mt Wellington headquarters of BMW New Zealand early on Wednesday. It is one of eight new high-performance European cars stolen this year.
The thieves were in and out of the building within six minutes.
They are believed to be behind the identical theft last week of another late-model BMW from Coutts Mercedes-Benz in Newmarket.
That car has not been found.
The BMW 7 Series was found on Wednesday at Auckland Airport and towed back to the showrooms, where it awaits the arrival of a master key from the manufacturer in Germany.
Detective Sergeant Wayne Lendrum said the security on the vehicle made it hard to get open.
"We could always smash a window or do a little bit of damage, but we can wait three days for the keys to get here. With the price tag on it, I'm too scared to touch it."
Mr Lendrum said the car could have been stolen to order for an overseas buyer, then dumped when it became too "hot" to handle.
The car was found carrying the plates of the BMW M5 taken in the Newmarket theft.
BMW New Zealand company secretary James Mitchelson said the thieves had had to break through two doors, and then find the keys before making off with the car.
All three of the car's key-cards were stolen. He said the car had to be started in a manner that would be difficult for anyone unfamiliar with late model BMWs.
Auckland car squad detective Callum McNeill said police had recovered all the stolen European vehicles except the BMW taken last week.
He said it was difficult to change the identity of the conspicuous late-model cars and the only likely market was overseas.
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