Thieves broke into a home and drove off in a $578,000 Rolls-Royce – till its owner track them down, according to police.
Burglars broke into an upscale home in New York City, swiped car keys and motored off with a $US400,000 ($A578,500) Rolls-Royce convertible – until its owner beat them at their own game, according to police.
The crooks with expensive taste had thrown a rock through the first-floor window of the high-end home in the Lighthouse Hill neighborhood on Staten Island around 4am on Sunday, June 12, then snatched car keys, according to the New York City Police Department (NYPD).
The owner of the abode, identified only as John, 38, was woken by an alarm and caught a glimpse of the bandits speeding off in his 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn sedan convertible, he told the Staten Island Advance.
“I was downstairs within seconds while they were pulling out of the driveway,” said John, who lives near Saint George Road and Lighthouse Avenue, the New York Post reports.
After making sure his family was safe, the homeowner logged onto a computer and used the luxury ride’s built-in tracking device to locate the vehicle in real time as the crooks drove toward New Jersey.
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He then activated a remote kill switch – used to disable the car’s ignition from any location – on the computer, stranding the thieves in Newark, New Jersey.
“They were attempting to turn [the car] back on, but they couldn’t because I disabled it,” John said.
He then pinpointed the specific block where the thieves ditched the car and picked it up, he said – adding he’s still shaken by the incident.
“Obviously [my family] is a little unnerved after everything that’s gone on,” he said.
The thieves who struck his home are suspected in a string of recent break-ins and car thefts in well-heeled sections of Staten Island, including three on June 12 and one on Monday, according to police.
In all of the cases, the culprits swiped keys from inside upscale homes and stole – or attempted to steal – cars parked nearby, according to police.
In footage from the incident on Monday, two thieves in hoodies are shown throwing a large stone through the rear sliding glass door of a home on Benedict Road and Callan Avenue before snatching car keys, according to cops.
But a resident began yelling, and they fled empty-handed, police said.
John said he suspects the bandits targeted him after seeing the pricey car in his driveway and the keys through the window of his house.
“They had to have seen the key because of where it was sitting and that’s why they broke the window,” he said.
Car thefts are up 114 per cent on Staten Island so far this year, and 61 per cent citywide as of last month.
Law-enforcement officials have previously cited Newark-based crews of thieves known to use real-estate websites to locate the most expensive homes on Staten Island in order to steal luxury cars.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission