Banker accused of stealing F1 replica steering wheel from Mercedes-Benz World

February 19, 2015 by

In a case that is stranger than fiction, Colin Butcher was accused of stealing a 2000 British pound replica of the F1 steering wheel of Nico Rosberg used during the 2012 campaign from Mercedes-Benz World in Brooklands, England.

The steering wheel went missing on August 19, 2014.  Upon review of the CCTV tapes, Butcher was seen parking his car around 4:30 p.m. in the parking lot.   After entering the building, Butcher went to the F1 display area and around 4:55 p.m. placed his opened jacket over the steering wheel, took it from the display and exited the building with the steering wheel under his coat.  Butcher was a familiar face at Mercedes-Benz-World which he visited every six to eight weeks.

Butcher, who has a collection of F1 memorabilia and contacts in the motor racing industry, maintained that he was approached by a man named Charlie Poole who was wearing a Mercedes-Benz uniform.   Poole asked Butcher if he knew of anyone who could repair a steering wheel.  Butcher responded that he knew Timothy Scott, the director of a company which manufactures these types of parts and gave Poole his business card.  About a week later, Butcher got a call from Poole requesting that they meet at Mercedes-Benz World between 4:45p.m. and 5:00 p.m.  While waiting at the appointed time, Butcher gets a call from Poole who indicated he had been delayed and requested that Butcher take the steering wheel.

The next day three police officers searched his home with the consent of his wife.  They took a steering wheel from the home—but it wasn’t the one from Mercedes-Benz World.  Butcher called the police and provided them with the replica steering wheel.   Butcher told the police that the replica steering wheel would not have fit into his collection which has a “world champion” theme.

At the trial, Butcher was cleared of the charges with the judge stating that there was “no intent to deprive Mercedes-Benz World of the steering wheel and no dishonest intent.”  Butcher was in fact hood-winked.

Leave a Comment