Bungling thief caught after stealing hire car's steering wheelThu, 27 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
A DIM-WITTED criminal has been convicted of theft after stealing parts of a brand new Audi A3 hire car and replacing them with old bits taken from his much older Audi S3.
Alexander Keating, a 23-year-old former bodyshop technician who lost his job following the conviction, stole parts as obvious as the steering wheel and gear knob from the A3 that his mum had hired after damaging her car in an accident.
Keating foolishly believed no one would notice the battered old steering wheel on the otherwise shiny, new car, but sure enough the mismatched parts were spotted and the hapless bungler was caught by the car hire firm’s bespoke anti-fraud team Asset Protection Unit (APU).
Sentencing Keating at Warrington Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Woodward described the case as “a serious example of theft” and demanded he pay more than £2,500 in fines and court fees.
Neil Thomas, Director of Investigative Services at APU, said: “This guy is clearly no master criminal, to think that he could swap parts on one of our cars without us noticing.
“This case was another great example of good teamwork and how APU can work with businesses and local Police to bring all manner of motor fraudsters to justice.”
By Press Association reporter