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James Bond car stolen from Boca Airport Hangar
Boca Raton News (June 20, 1997)
By Claire Booth

Under cover of darkness, someone entered a locked hangar in a secured area and made off with a priceless automobile. It was a feat worthy of James Bond.

But Bond hasn't driven this particular Aston Martin since 1965.

The specially-outfitted silver roadster shared screen time with Sean Connery in Goldfinger in 1964 and in Thunderball the following year. The car has been spending most of its days at special exhibits and nights in a Boca Raton Airport hangar.

That is, until Wednesday. Someone sliced through the molding on the hangar door, cut the metal latch and snipped the alarm wires sometime between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 7 a.m. Thursday. There was no key in the car, according to police reports, so the burglar either hot-wired the 1963 Aston Martin DB5 or simply pushed it out of the hangar and into the night.

"It's really kind of wild that someone had the nerve to steal it," said Anthony Pugliese, who has owned the car since 1986. "What are they going to do with it?"

If the right-hand steering and European-style license plates don't catch the eye of fellow motorists, the roadster's optional accessories certainly will. Not many cars come equipped with a bullet-proof rear window, passenger-side ejection seat and machine guns.

"It's a one-of-a-kind," Pugliese said, disbelief over the theft still clear in his voice. "It's the most famous car in the world, an icon of the '60s."

Pugliese proudly calls his car "priceless," a value estimate mirrored in Boca Raton Police Services Department reports of the incident.

He has stored the Aston Martin at the Boca Raton Airport on and off for the past 10 years, Pugliese said.

The occupant of another hangar at the airport found that someone had attempted to break into that hangar the night before, according to police reports. The neighbor then noticed that Pugliese's hangar door was open and no one was around. The police were notified and an alert was issued.

The Aston Martin hasn't been stolen in the 11 years that he has owned it, Pugliese said. But there was a recent attempt.

On Monday night, someone broke into a storage container in Delray Beach, where the car had been stored several weeks ago during a display promotion, according to police reports. But, by then, the car was back in Boca.

Pugliese, a Boca Raton developer, bought the car at a Sotheby's auction in 1986. He declined to say how much he paid for it. It was the first model DB5 ever built, he said.

"We're hopeful we're going to find it," said Kim Caruso, a Delray Beach businesswoman and Pugliese's sister. "How do you get something like that out of here?"

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