$2.8M Limo Once Commissioned by Stalin Stolen, Abandoned by Thieves

That takes a lot of, erm, courage.

Vente aux enchères d'une limousine de fabrication soviétique, la Z I S 115, ayant appartenu à Joseph Staline en novembre 1990 à Vienne, Autriche. (Photo by CONTRAST/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A group of brazen thieves recently managed to steal a $2.8-million ZIS-115 limousine that once carried Joseph Stalin. Their heist was caught on camera, and the crafty-but-senseless crooks towed the car from a garage in Moscow before hastily ditching it elsewhere.

The limo itself is a heavyweight and has true street cred as the first mass-produced passenger car with armor protection in the USSR. The brute’s shell is strong enough to protect against 7.62-mm bullets from as close as 25 meters, which includes guns like the SKS. According to local sources, it took six men and a tow truck to get away with the massive car, which is owned by the head of security for a Ukrainian oligarch. They took off in an unknown direction with the limo on a truck, but the car was found abandoned across town just a short time later. 

 

The real question now is who they are and what they planned on doing with the pricey piece of automobilia. It’s not like you can waltz into a Russian Carmax and offload a 9,000-pound armored limo, but leaving it abandoned so quickly seems to suggest they either figured out there was no way to unload it safely or they realized that stealing a car from a Ukrainian oligarch comes with its own unique set of challenges. 

 

Regardless of what happens to the car, we’re assuming the thieves have more than law enforcement to be afraid of. Ukrainian bigwigs probably don’t take kindly to having historical artifacts stolen, and their flavor of justice may be scarier than the notoriously hardcore Russian police. The good news for the thieves, at least for now, is that no arrests or suspects have been announced in connection with the robbery.

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