Two unidentified men loaded the 7.5-tonne Model OT Type 810 armoured vehicle onto a truck using a crane on Friday evening. When a witness saw the men hoisting the half-track, they told her they had bought it on the internet.
Heilbronn police said the Type 80 was worth approximately €6,500, though it was not in driveable condition. A possible motive for the theft is that the vehicle is quite rare and is the only known model in existence in Germany. Were it to be restored, it could fetch tens of thousands of euros from a collector.
The vehicle's owner had just sold it two weeks earlier to a Swiss man, who had just paid a deposit on the half-track. After the sales contract had been signed, the seller's name and location mysertiously appeared on the internet, investigators said.