Ice cool Bond car thief had a licence to disappear

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It was James Bond's favourite car and to steal one would take a cool nerve worthy of 007.

Unfortunately for Ross Campbell, a normally streetwise car salesman, the well-spoken southerner who walked into his Glasgow showroom was every bit as sharp as Ian Fleming's suave hero. And within two hours he had stolen a £54,000 Aston Martin from under Mr Campbell's nose.

A national search was on for the DB7 model yesterday while Mr Campbell revealed details of the theft, displaying more than a hint of respect for the only man to take him in during a 22-year career.

"I've seen every trick, but never carried out in that manner and to that level," he said. "He spent two hours here, he met all the criteria and he knew as much about cars as I do. If he'd been at all nervous or twitchy or had anything suspicious about him, I would have picked it up right away."

The thief went into Anniesland Trade Centre in Temple Road, Glasgow, on Wednesday and said he was moving into a prestigious development in the city. He even test drove a Ferrari but rejected that, saying he would prefer an Aston Martin.

With two mobile phones ringing constantly, the trickster gave the impression of being a busy businessman. He opted for the Aston Martin, filled in all the paperwork and then suggested popping to a nearby pub with Mr Campbell for some lunch while his bank authorised a cash transfer.

Unknown to Mr Campbell, however, the thief had taken a spare set of keys while filling out the paperwork. When he went outside the pub to get a better signal on his phone, he was able to slip into the car and vanish.

"Right away I made a 999 call, the police put out an all-points bulletin and I phoned every taxi firm telling them to look out for a blue Aston Martin," Mr Campbell said. "The only thing I can think is there was someone in close proximity with a container or a big box van he could have put it in."