The brand-new, black Suzuki Samurai had been on the dealer's lot at Torrance Suzuki for just three weeks when, police say, it caught the eye of a young man from Hawthorne.
Alas, the $8,000 car with the black-and-white striped convertible top had already been sold. Its new owner was on the way to pick it up Monday afternoon.
But the young man was apparently determined to have it.
And so, according to Torrance Police Sgt. Ron Traber, when a saleswoman left the room, the man snatched three color-coded keys from their hooks, "took the one that had the black designation, stuck it in the ignition, found that it fit, fired that little thing up and drove off down the street while some of the employees were watching."
Steve Honig, sales manager for the dealership at 3035 Pacific Coast Highway, saw the man drive away. He called police, who dispatched two motorcycle officers to track down the car.