Santa Ana police arrested Israel Perez Rangel on Nov. 1. He pleaded not guilty to car theft.
Authorities say the 458 Spider was brought into a Costa Mesa service center and stolen in October after a worker left the key on a passenger seat.
Security video showed a man in a Ferrari jacket walking onto the lot and taking it.
Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said officers subsequently responded to a report of a Ferrari driving erratically and stopped at an intersection, and to another call that the driver was asking for gas money.
The exotic car was spotted at a gas station, where the driver ran off and was found and arrested behind bushes near a Holiday Inn, police said.
The Los Angeles Times says the car was trashed, with emblems torn from the body, cracked fins and a destroyed gearbox.
The Times said insurers paid the owner, who used the money to buy a 2018 Lamborghini Huracan.
This story has been corrected to show the dateline is Santa Ana, not San Diego.
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