Birmingham Police are on a mission after a car used to ferry Hollywood star Tom Cruise was stolen on Tuesday and the actor's belongings, "worth thousands of pounds", are still missing.
According to The Sun, which first reported the incident, thieves used a scanner to clone the signal from the BMW X7's keyless ignition fob after it was parked outside the Grand Hotel, where Cruise is reportedly staying as he filmed the latest movie in the Mission: Impossible series. While the car, which belonged to Cruise's bodyguard, was recovered "a short time later", the contents are still missing.
“Tom had been driven around in the car while in Birmingham and some of his luggage and belongings were inside it when it was taken. It’s since been recovered by police because it was equipped with an electronic tracking device but everything inside it had gone," a source told The Sun.
"We received a report of a BMW X7 stolen from Church Street, Birmingham," a West Midlands Police representative confirmed, but did not reveal the identity of the owner. "The car was recovered a short time later. Inquiries are ongoing."
The British Transport Police in Birmingham tweeted a photo of the star on Tuesday.
"I promise you, this isn’t photoshopped," they posted.
Cruise, 59, is in Britain filming the seventh instalment of the Mission: Impossible series. According to The Sun, Birmingham's railway station was transformed to portray Abu Dhabi International Airport for filming.
The star has caused a stir in the Midlands since his arrival. On Saturday, he was spotted at Indian restaurant Asha's, owned by famous Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle. The restaurant, which also has branches in the UAE, posted pictures of Cruise along with their staff on Sunday.
"It was an absolute pleasure to welcome Tom Cruise to Asha's Birmingham yesterday evening. Tom ordered our famous Chicken Tikka Masala and enjoyed it so much that as soon as he had finished, he ordered it all over again – the greatest compliment," the restaurant's post said.
Bhosle also shared her delight at the star's visit, tweeting: "I was very happy to hear that Mr. Tom Cruise enjoyed his fine dining experience at Asha's (Birmingham) and I look forward to him visiting us again soon."
The seventh Mission: Impossible was one of the first films to shut down production because of coronavirus when it abandoned filming in Venice, in February 2020. Production resumed in September, with filming in Italy, Norway, London and Abu Dhabi.
In February, Cruise and his team finished filming scenes in the UAE capital. Not much is known about shoot but they were spotted at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Impressively enough, the entire cast and crew also maintained being Covid-free during their time in the emirate.
Abu Dhabi's film and TV commissioner Hans Fraikin, explained during a panel discussion as part of the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, how that was possible.
“We devised a protocol where we divided the team into five bubble zones. So these five zones could never interact. They also stayed in five different hotels. And the staff of those hotels could not leave their bubble either," he said.
More importantly, Fraikin said – unlike a few other productions that shot in the emirate but were used as other locations in films – the scenes shot in Abu Dhabi will be fully represented in the film.
“Abu Dhabi would be part of the storyline,” he said. “I can’t say where it was filmed but when the film releases around the world, audiences will be astounded by what they see.”
Paramount Pictures has also pushed back the release of Mission: Impossible 7, which is now expected to come out in May 2022.