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Police: Sheik Who Said He Owned Speeding Car Seen In Beverly Hills Appears To Have Left U.S.

BEVERLY HILLS ( — A Middle Eastern sheik who claimed to own a Ferrari caught on video zooming through a Beverly Hills neighborhood apparently has raced out of town, police said Thursday.

Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar has left the country and the cars are gone, authorities said at a news conference.

Al Thani owns a drag-racing team and is a member of the ruling family of oil- and gas-rich Qatar.

Videos posted on Instagram and YouTube and reviewed by Beverly Hills police showed the bright yellow, 12-cylinder LaFerrari burning rubber as it roared down North Walden Drive, followed by the Porsche 911 GT3 on Saturday evening.

Journalist Jacob Rogers says he asked one of the drivers why they were racing, but the man cursed at him and told him to get off the property. When Rogers asked again, "the man said, 'F—America' and he threw a cigarette at me and that was before he indicated he could kill me and get away with it."

Officers answering reports of reckless driving found both cars parked in a driveway. A man told the officers that the cars belonged to him and denied speeding or driving recklessly, police said.

The man claimed to have diplomatic immunity, but that is unlikely, Lt. Lincoln Hoshino said.

"It's against the federal law for someone to claim diplomatic immunity when they don't have it," Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti said. "So we're looking at that."

Rivetti said the Ferrari was connected to Al Thani. However, Hoshino said investigators have not confirmed whether he actually was driving either car.

"The drivers weren't visible on the videos or photographs," and investigators were unable to find anyone who was willing to identify the drivers, Hoshino said.

Police will continue investigating, and if the drivers are identified they could be charged with reckless driving, Rivetti said.

The city also has passed along its outrage over the incident to the Qatari consulate via the U.S. Department of State, the chief said.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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