Hi-tech car thieves steal Beckham's £70,000 BMW

DAVID Beckham has been the victim of a gang of car thieves, who used hi-tech software to steal his £70,000 BMW X-5 from a commercial centre near Madrid, Spanish media reported yesterday.

The gang, which police say specialises in stealing luxury models, struck while the England captain and Real Madrid star was having lunch with his sons at the Diversia centre at Alcobendas, near his home on the edge of the Spanish capital.

The armour-plated four-wheel drive, fitted with the latest anti-theft devices for which Beckham had to use an individual ignition code, was taken from an underground car park. The thieves used software to start the engine electronically.

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The footballer told police that apart from documents and a sports bag, there had been nothing of value inside the car, a newspaper reported.

Beckham is the fourth Real star to fall victim of specialised car theft gangs in Madrid. Luis Figo and Roberto Carlos have lost luxury vehicles, while Zinedine Zidane's car was stolen from the club's training ground, but was later recovered.

An average of 50 luxury cars a day are stolen in the city, according to police.