Stolen BMW hits millionaire's house

STOLEN SMASH: A stolen 1998 BMW rests in the yard of a house owned by millionaire Terry Serepisos, after the driver lost control of the car, crashing off the road and into the house.
STOLEN SMASH: A stolen 1998 BMW rests in the yard of a house owned by millionaire Terry Serepisos, after the driver lost control of the car, crashing off the road and into the house.

Property developer Terry Serepisos loves luxury cars, but is no fan of the stolen BMW that smashed into a house he owns.

The stolen 1998 BMW crashed through a plastic construction barrier after the driver lost control on a sharp bend on Lookout Rd in Roseneath, Wellington, just before 3am yesterday. It hit the upstairs balcony and plunged two storeys before ending up beside the house.

A witness saw the driver, a man, wriggle from the wrecked car and walk off. The car cracked a retaining wall, demolished the veranda railing and landed on a pile of concrete blocks.

Mr Serepisos said he was relieved that the house was empty at the time. It is being renovated for his former partner, Ingrid Mole, and their 13-year-old son, Julian.

He said the crash was "crazy", but he was not surprised because people often used the roads below the Mt Victoria lookout as a drag strip.

"It's just a freak thing [but] the roads are pretty tight up that way. It's a two-storey drop. He's lucky he didn't die."

Police used dogs to try to find the driver after a witness woken by a "loud bang" saw him walk away carrying a torch. The dogs lost the scent nearby.

BMW Rentals owner Mark Shuttleworth reported the car stolen from his Willis St lot on Monday night.

It was there at 5pm but had vanished when he walked past again at 10pm, he said.

"I'm only starting out. I don't really need something like this happening.

"It's not making it easy for me."

He said it would cost $15,000 to replace, not counting the loss of income from the car.

Builder Alan Martindale, who was working at the Roseneath house yesterday, was gobsmacked when he saw the car. "It takes parking to a new level."

Mr Serepisos' property has been a magnet for bad luck in the past.

In 2003 his $200,000 late-model Jaguar XKR8 convertible had a litre of white paint poured in it while it was parked with the roof down, ruining the carpets and seats.

Also in 2003, a 14-year-old boy fell 5.5 metres down an empty car park lift shaft, suffering severe head and spinal injuries. The building was owned by Mr Serepisos.

His company, 79 Manners St, was convicted and fined for allowing the use of a building when it was unsafe. 

The Dominion Post