When the news broke this weekend that Red Bull’s F1 factory had been ram raided and thieves made off with a haul of 60 trophies, the question that instantly sprang to mind is – why??
The thieves used a 4×4 as well as a separate Mercedes estate car to carry out the raid, which suggests that in some ways it was a fairly professional crime. That is of course until you attempt to understand what they are likely to gain from stealing these items. As you can see from the image of the trophy cabinet below, there was a real mix of trophies, many of which would have been made with little or no precious metal content.
Sebastian Vettel standing in front of the Red Bull trophy cabinet
A crime of this nature makes no sense at all. If it’s for your own personal collection, then you’re taking a huge risk as the news of your collection is bound to be leaked sooner or later. If the thought was that there was any value in them, that shows an incredible lack of planning. Some of these trophies are made of glass, plastic, porcelain and resin, so can not be melted down to achieve any value. Of the metal trophies, only a few of them would have had much in the way of precious metals within them and the value of any of that would have been minimal.
Even if the thieves had stolen a haul of sterling silver cups from a different trophy cabinet, the value of those cups lies in the cost to replace them, as opposed to any residual value from the silver content once melted down.
The loss to Red Bull is huge, but the gain for the thieves is hard to see. A pointless crime.