PUNISHED: Another scoop for APU
A man has been fined £2,000 and sentenced to 200hours community service after replacing parts from a hire car with components from his much older vehicle.
Alexander Keating, 23, of Upton Lane, Widnes, stole the gear shift knob, steering wheel, brake callipers and other parts from the brand-new Audi A3 and swapped them with parts from his ageing S3.
He was caught when a local bodyshop spotted the mismatch of old parts on the A3, which had been loaned to him by Accident Exchange.
The company reported the theft to local Police and Accident Exchange’s bespoke anti-fraud team, Asset Protection Unit (APU).
“This guy is clearly no master criminal, to think that he could swap parts on one of our cars without us noticing.”
Neil Thomas, APU
Sentencing Keating at Warrington Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Woodward described the case as ‘a serious example of theft’.
The court heard that Keating, a bodyshop technician, stole the parts after his mother damaged her car in an accident.
He used the workshop of his employer – Blue Bell Bodyshop, Wilmslow – to carry out the parts swap, but lost his job after being caught.
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.”