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Let's See If We Can Find This Man's Stolen Beloved BMW M5

Illustration for article titled Lets See If We Can Find This Mans Stolen Beloved BMW M5

I know every time we do this, it’s an act of wild optimism, but we have had some success finding stolen cars, so I always figure it’s worth a try, right? This time the stolen car is a beautiful and very well-sorted BMW E39 M5, and it was last seen in Amsterdam. The car was this man’s pride and joy, and his little son is pretty devastated as well. Maybe we can help.

Illustration for article titled Lets See If We Can Find This Mans Stolen Beloved BMW M5

Here’s the full story, according to the owner, Gavin:

Someone, somewhere in Europe right now, is in possession of my beautiful, immaculate BMW E39 M5. There aren’t that many of these in good condition around, and in the same condition as mine, like hen’s teeth.


I live in Amsterdam and have had the E39 M5 on my list of itches to scratch for years, finally in Spring 2016 I decided it was time to scratch the itch. Having searched for a few months I eventually found my forever friend in London. It was left hand drive, having previously been owned by a gentleman that liked to smoke to down to the south of France in it in style. It had for me the perfect combo of Carbon Black paint, shadow line and black Heritage leather. TV, satnav, ridiculous old school phone and wonderful double glazed glass.

I purchased, drove it home and then spent thousands chasing that infamous E39 steering wobble. Having replaced almost every moving part on the front suspension from the wheel, discs, hub, bearing, bushes to the recirculating ball steering system, it was perfect. original shadow chrome alloys completely unmarked, no rust in the usual E39 places. The only change I made form standard was to add a hand made rear exhaust section from Hayward & Scott to release the beautiful noise of the naturally aspirated 400bhp 5.0 V8…heaven. 2 years of driving bliss followed with trips down from Amsterdam to Biarritz and general cruising.

Then one day just over a month ago, i couldn’t start the car, all the lights were on but silence on the turn of the key. I popped the hood in preparation to jump it in case it was flat and discovered that the ECU had been stolen from under the bonnet. cursing that some swine had made off with this expensive part, I left the car there in my underground car park and contacted the BMW dealer for the cost of a new ECU. A small nagging voice at the back of my head wondered whether it was part of a larger theft gamble, but sadly it was a thought I didn’t pursue.

Sure enough, next morning, my baby was gone. I can only imagine that the ECU was either reprogrammed, or replaced with a different module to then drive the car away.

My 6yr old son is devastated that this car is gone. Then he discovered that his skateboard was in the trunk, and for the first time in his life really felt the crushing feeling of having something that is yours taken away from you. He also now struggles to sleep through the night and is afraid of the thieves coming back and into our home to take things form him. In short they have made real a fear of the dark for him. I am gutted for the theft of this car, I poured love in to stand money, and time and sweat and graft. for these things I am angry with the thieves, but for how they have changed my son, I am beyond angry, I want to hurt people. Fuck you thieves how dare you so callously change people’s lives.


Well, that’s terrible, no question. Security cameras in the parking lot the car was parked in happened to have a hard drive wipe the day right after the theft, so that option is gone.

Illustration for article titled Lets See If We Can Find This Mans Stolen Beloved BMW M5

Even worse, Gavin’s Yamaha TMax scooter was stolen from the same spot a few weeks later, thanks to the use of a cutting torch to get through chains. Whoever is preying on cars in this parking lot, they appear to be serious.

Illustration for article titled Lets See If We Can Find This Mans Stolen Beloved BMW M5

The car is fairly distinctive-looking, and it wore a Netherlands license plate with the number JP-602-P. There’s some distinctive elements, like the Hayward & Scott badge on the rear exhaust and the smoked headlight covers and clear indicator lenses.

Illustration for article titled Lets See If We Can Find This Mans Stolen Beloved BMW M5

If anyone (most likely in Europe) sees this car or has any useful information regarding the car, please send an email to with the subject Stolen BMW M5 Info, and we can get you Gavin’s contact information.

Here’s hoping this ends well!

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:

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