Beds, Herts & Bucks

Aston Martin DB2 thieves hunted 13 years since absconding

1949 Aston Martin DB Team Car Image copyright Bonhams
Image caption The recovered car sold at auction for £605,000 on Friday

Two men who absconded after being convicted of stealing an historic Aston Martin racing car 13 years ago are being hunted by police.

The DB2, which competed in the 1949 Le Mans 24-hour race, was taken in 2002 from Baldock, Hertfordshire and found in Holland this year.

Bert Anton Visser, 64, and Heerke Jan Visser, 53, failed to return to court for sentencing in 2003.

A police spokesman said the pair were known to still be in Holland.

Det Sgt Jo Goodson from Hertfordshire Police said: "We are working with the Dutch authorities to locate them."

The green prototype car was the only one of three Aston Martins in the 1949 race to cross the finish line.

Image copyright Bonhams
Image caption The racing car was stolen in 2002
Image copyright Bonhams
Image caption The car was built as a prototype

Police tracked it down to a storage facility in Eindhoven in March, but Christopher Angell, the car's owner at the time of the theft, died before it was found.

Image copyright Bonhams
Image caption The car had been gathering dust in a storage facility before being found

The vehicle was eventually handed to a relative, Ashley Mack, who said Mr Angell had been left "devastated" by the theft of his vehicle.

"Just before he died in 2003 he was still asking 'has that nice policeman got my car yet?'".

Image copyright Herts Police
Image caption Christopher Angell, pictured with another Aston Martin in 1972 was "devastated" by the theft
Image copyright Hertofrdshire Police
Image caption The car was eventually tracked down to a storage unit in the Netherlands

The car was sold for £605,000 ($832,000) to an American buyer at Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed auction on Friday.

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