Thieves have made off with DaimlerChrysler Chief Executive Juergen Schrempp's armoured Mercedes limousine while the high-powered car was parked on a Stuttgart street.

"The car was unattended for just 20 minutes. The thieves must have loaded it onto a truck and it was gone," Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper quoted an investigator as saying, suggesting the 500-horsepower S 600 model was now abroad.

A spokeswoman for the German-American carmaker based in Stuttgart confirmed an S-Class car used by the firm's executive board was stolen three weeks ago but she declined to say who had been using it at the time.

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