Technician sentenced for stealing parts from hire car

Parts were swapped between Audi A3 and older S3 model

Published:  27 March, 2014

A bodyshop technician has been sentenced to 200 hours unpaid community service after stealing parts from a hire car to replace components from his vehicle.

Alexander Keating of Widnes was also ordered to pay more than £2,000 in compensation after he stole the gear shift know, steering wheel, brake callipers and other parts from an Audi A3 loaned to him by accident management company Accident Exchange, swapping them with parts from his much older Audi S3.

Keating was caught when a garage worker at a local bodyshop spotted the mismatch of old parts on the A3. They reported the theft to local Police and Accident Exchange's bespoke anti-fraud team, Asset Protection Unit (APU).

Keating stole the parts after his mother damaged her car in an accident and hired the Audi A3 from Accident Exchange. He used the workshop of his employer to carry out the parts swap, but lost his job after being caught.

Sentencing Keating at Warrington Crown Court, Judge Nicholas Woodward described the case as "a serious example of theft" and demanded he pay over £2500 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."

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