Grand Theft Auto: Man steals a Mercedes-Benz CLA from showroom in Mumbai


Mercedes CLA (29)

In a twisted turn of events, a conman drove off in a spanking new Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 CDI Sport. The incident took place on a Friday afternoon on July 3, 2015 at one of the German carmaker’s showroom located in Satra Plaza complex in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.

Mercedes CLA (32)

Apparently a resident of the suburbs of Virar, the middle-aged man identified himself as Viraj Mhatre and paid his pricey visit, posing as an interested customer. The man reportedly told the Mercedes-Benz staff that he was the owner of a hotel and expressed his interest in a taking a test drive, in the pretext of writing a cheque as his payment. Like all prospective buyers, the conman opted to take a test drive and chose a white Mercedes-Benz CLA200 CDI Sport, which retails for approximately INR 35 lakh.

Mercedes CLA (23)

The most bewildering part of this story is the fact that none of the staff at the showroom seem to have asked for the man’s driver’s licence, which is usually a prerequisite before handing out the keys to showroom demo car. Anyway, the showroom manager asked one of the sales executive to accompany the man for his test drive. Blissfully unbeknownst to the showroom staff, ‘Mhatre’ had no intentions of buying the luxury saloon, but the test drive would soon culminate in a hefty loss for this Mercedes-Benz showroom.

Mercedes-Benz CLA steering (2)

The conman drove the car to ‘his’ hotel in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, and asked the sales executive to step outside and wait for him inside the hotel. While the executive waited, the conman silently slipped away with the luxury saloon. Upon realisation of her blunder, the sales executive conveyed the ugly news to her showroom manager, and soon a complaint was lodged at the APMC police station.

Mercedes CLA tail lamp

The story of the stolen Mercedes-Benz doesn’t end here. The police managed to acquire CCTV imagery of a “suspicious’ biker who was seen trailing the stolen luxury saloon. However, this turned out to be a false lead and it turned out that the biker had nothing to do with the whole incident. The police showed pictures of 15 known criminals fitting the same bill, but the executive couldn’t the man who duped her amongst those pictures. An FIR under IPC Section 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) has been registered against the man.

Tell us what you think about this whole incident by writing your thoughts/opinions in the comments section below.

Also Read: Mercedes CLA 200 / 200 CDI Review


  1. Its weird, I’m sure a brand as established as Mercedes has a GPS tracking system installed in all their cars, especially the ones in showrooms. I’m sure the car can be found easily.

  2. Firstly to avoid this in future the driving license of the person asking for test drive irrespective of who the being is should be stored back at the showroom with all other necessary details. Secondly the showroom staff assisting the person for test drive should be seated in the vehicle no matter what happens until the person drives the vehicle back to the showroom.

  3. It is kinda funny! The guy must have been a charming person to force others into making such mistakes.. It is big lapse on the part of the showroom where in it is evident that they do not check driver credentials before handing over the keys of extremely powerful cars in people’s hands. This same lapse can lead to a novice driver meeting with an accident! They need to establish and ascertain their SOP…

  4. That’s the most stupidest thing any sales executive could ever do. Firstly, according to the Mercedes Benz process, an indemnity form has to be filled by the executive Alongwith a photocopy of the driver’s license before going for a test drive. Secondly, not under any circumstances the vehicle should be left without the key in it, een if an executive has to step out of car to change the sides, the keys are to be removed from the ignition and handed to the customer only once the executive is seated in the vehicle himself / herself. Non of the above was done by the executive here. Plus the best part was that the executive was sitting there in the restaurant munching on Sandwich ordered by the conman while he drove away with the car. I am an ex-employee of that Showroom and know one thing for sure, the manager may have emphasized on following the procedures before going for a TD, but it must have been the recursive who was in so much rush for the business that he turned a deaf ear to her manager and went ahead with the car.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here