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Stolen 28 Years Ago, CBP Seizes Classic Red Hot Ferrari

Release Date: 
April 14, 2016

 “Red Flag” Prompts FEAR Team Scrutiny

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Los Angeles/Long Beach (LA/LB) Seaport complex intercepted and seized a red 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi, destined to Poland, on April 8.  It was stolen 28 years ago, has 45K miles and an estimated value of $50K.

red 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi seized by CBP

CBP officers at LA/LB seaport seized this 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi, destined to Poland. It was stolen 28 years ago.

Falsely manifested as a “1982 Ferrari”, analysis of its purported vehicle identification number (VIN) revealed that the VIN was previously used for a 1982 Ferrari 308 GTS exported in 2005, from the U.S. to Norway via Germany. 

“This VIN discrepancy is what ‘raised a red flag’ and prompted further scrutiny.  Such keen attention to details by CBP officers is commendable, especially considering they process a daily average of 500 vehicles intended for export,” said CBP LA/LB Seaport Port Director Carlos Martel.

In partnership with the California Highway Patrol-Investigative Services Unit Investigator and National Insurance Crime Bureau Special Agent assigned to the Foreign Export and Recovery (FEAR) Outbound Team, a Ferrari factory expert assisted with identifying the 1981 Ferrari.  In actuality, this Ferrari’s original VIN was changed to that of the previously exported car’s VIN.

Its real VIN led to a police report showing that this Ferrari was stolen from a car consignment lot in Orange County, Calif., on July 19, 1987.  The owner was compensated by his insurance company back then and wishes to remain anonymous.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017