Owner's heartache as £100k car stolen (VIDEO)
THIEVES have roared off with a customised rally car estimated to be worth £100,000.
Owner James Rogers has spent the last five years building the coveted black Ford Escort RS Cosworth and has scoured the world looking for parts.
He had taken his "pride and joy" to his brother-in-law's workshop in Rushton Spencer for repairs to its bodywork when it was stolen.
It is believed thieves had tailed the distinctive car, registration B5 JAM, before striking.
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Now the 30-year-old, below, has put up a £5,000 reward for return of the vehicle, which he fears may have already been shipped abroad.
It is so rare that the thief is likely to be caught immediately if he attempts to strip it down for its parts.
Mr Rogers of Kerridge, near Macclesfield, said building the car had been a "labour of love" and he was heartbroken by its theft.
It is a crowd puller at race tracks on the rare occasions the businessman, whose other car is a Range Rover, takes it out.
It was due to have scratches removed by brother-in-law Lee MacLeod when it was stolen on Thursday, at about noon.
Mr Rogers said: "It has taken me about five years to build it from scratch.
"I started with the bare shell and then I had to get all the parts, which are really specialist and all have identifying numbers.
"Whoever took it will not be able to sell it. It is too hot, the car is a one-off.
"It is not the monetary value of the car I am bothered about, it is all the work I have put in.
"I like to get my hands dirty after spending all day behind a desk working at the family business.
"It is very well-known among enthusiasts and has been featured in magazines.
"It always attracts a crowd when I take it out, but that is only four or five times a year."
Mr MacLeod, aged 34, of Macclesfield, said he feared the thieves had followed Mr Rogers when he drove it to his workshop in Sugar Street.
He alerted the police after his landlord told him his workshop had been broken into.
Some of his equipment had also been stolen.
He said: "I am gutted for my brother-in-law and I hope he gets it back. I think it has probably been shipped abroad. It is pretty rare to see them on the road, I think he must have been followed by whoever has taken it."
Police are now appealing for information about the theft.
Detective Constable Jill Maddock said: "The car was locked up securely at 8pm the night before.
"It would have been fairly difficult to start, so it may have been taken away on a trailer, rather than being driven away.
"It's a very distinctive car so if anyone sees it, they're likely to remember it."
Anyone who has any information about the car is asked to call Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455.