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Wednesday, 14 June, 2000, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Film blamed for car thefts
Gone in 60 Seconds
Canadian police fear Gone in 60 Seconds has encouraged car thieves
Police in Canada have suggested the movie Gone in 60 Seconds could be responsible for a recent upsurge in car thefts.

The number of reported thefts in Burnaby, British Columbia rose sharply when the film was released at the weekend.

The movie, starring Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie and Vinnie Jones, is about a gang of retired car thieves who link up for one last job.

It went straight to number one at the US box office after taking $25.5m (16m) in its opening weekend.


Vinnie Jones
Vinnie Jones: Hollywood role

Constable Phil Reid of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Burnaby, which has a population of a round 180,000, experiences an average of 20 car thefts on a normal weekend.

Last weekend they had 31, a rise of more than 50%. "It does raise an eyebrow," Constable Reid pointed out.

He said that although they had not established a direct link between the thefts and the movie, they had no other explanation.

Silly

"It would be silly for us not to think that it is a factor,'' he added.

Gone in 60 Seconds is a remake of the 1974 cult classic.

It stars Cage as Memphis Raine, a retired car thief who has to steal 50 collectable classics in one night to save the life of his brother.

He ropes in a few old colleagues, including getaway driver Sara 'Sway' Wayland (Jolie) and Otto Halliwell (Robert Duvall) to help him out and what follows is a chaotic combination of spectacular car chases and stunts.

The film has propelled former footballer Vinnie Jones into the Hollywood spotlight.

The former Wimbledon, Leeds and QPR player stars as The Sphinx - a silent, no-nonsense brute who helps Cage out where necessary.

Gone in 60 Seconds, which has received mixed reviews, opens in the UK on 4 August.

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12 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Vinnie's a hit in Hollywood
13 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Vinnie Jones: Mellow in Hollywood
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